Since the NFL was founded in 1920, we sure have seen their fair share of scandals. Recently, from the movie Concussion starring Will Smith, to the PBS documentary The League of Denial, it seems like the NFL has frequently been in the media for lying about head injuries. This leaves us with some questions. Is the NFL a transparent organization? How did they respond specifically to the concussion crisis? Let’s take a look at how they lost and won the game of transparency.
How the NFL Lost:
How corrupt was the NFL, really? Well, Congress compared the corruption and misleading of information of the NFL to the corruption of the tobacco industry. That is not too far of a stretch, because the NFL has some of the same lobbyists, lawyers, and researchers. We might also add that it took a $765-million-dollar lawsuit to persuade the organization to compensate players who were negatively impacted by concussions. The Times even discovered 10% of diagnosed concussions were omitted from their 5-year research report. Thus, for years the NFL covered up head injuries and the condition CTE.
How the NFL Won:
In recent years, the NFL changed the way they handled and addressed head injuries. According to the NFL Players Association, there is now a list of protocols they follow for head injuries: sideline assessments, preseason education seminars, and the presence of certified physicians. Furthermore, ESPN has shared that the NFL now places concussion posters in each locker room. Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner, is also taking measures into his own hands. In September 2016, he started a 100 million dollar initiative for concussions. This initiative will give $100 million to support engineering advancements and medical research.
Overall, the NFL has failed in the past at addressing the problem of concussions. Luckily, they recognize their negligence. They are talking about it publicly which we think is a giant step towards being more transparent. So far, we think the score is tied. The NFL must continue to address this problem and reduce the number of concussions, then they could win the game! What do you think?