The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is our nation’s premier public health agency. It’s also one of my most trusted sources of health information. I look to the CDC to get facts I can trust on everything from childhood vaccinations to safe drinking water. But I’ve become concerned about whether its information on sports-related concussions is fully independent from influence by the sports industry.
The CDC sometimes turns to outside organizations such as the National Cancer Institute or the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help out with its research and education programs. These partnerships generally result in effective collaborations to advance the public’s health.
An undependable partner can cast a shadow over the CDC’s otherwise superb public health efforts. Based on a study I recently co-authored in the journal Injury Prevention with public health ethicist and lawyer Daniel Goldberg, I’ve concluded that the NFL is one such unreliable partner. In reviewing the NFL’s concussion-related research and education programs, our analysis found that the NFL’s private agenda isn’t compatible with public health objectives.
“Even though I began studying the football safety debates in 2013, I did not come across any news stories or academic research that described the current partnership between the two organizations”…
Actually, we reported on this extensively about a year ago:
Glad to see somebody else recognize this, though…
Perhaps it’s time for the NFL to switch to flag football 🙂
“Based on our research, it appears that the NFL is trying to gain credibility by working with respected public health agencies like the CDC and is using this work to promote its viewpoint that it is possible to prevent brain trauma in a full-body collision sport like football.”
Exactly! Anything to keep the pipeline of young, unsuspecting young males (and their parents, esp. moms) to keep feeding the almighty money juggernaut that is Gridiron Dementia Inc. (aka NFL).
In the long run, the NFL is doomed. Insurance companies will kill it at the high school and collegiate levels, which will starve the sport of players. It will go the way of boxing, which continues to exist but at a much lower level of popularity than it had in the mid-20th century.
Soccer faces a similar fate, at least in the US. Non-concussive impacts from head checks (a routine play in soccer) also cause CTE.
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