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Tags concussions , football , nfl

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League of Denial
League of Denial
The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth
Submitted by IllegalArgument
10th November 2013
League of Denial

A damning, well written, book about how the NFL tried for years to ignore or suppress the awareness of the concussion problems players were having

Fought disability claims of retired players by dragging out the process through various way hoping the players would die.

Forming a committee of scientists connected to the NFL, of which the chairman and most of the members had no experience the relevant field. Found a scientific journal with an editor-in-chief with ties to the NFL, churned out papers that with large chunks ghostwritten to support the NFL's view that there was a problem. Some of the committee members didn't even read each paper, only their section, even though they were authors!

Dissenting reviews recommending declaring papers were flawed and should not be published were overruled by the editor-in-chief, complaints were buried in the comment section. Even when section editor of the journal was being overridden by the editor-in-chief, this is extremely rare.

When the journal pushed a paper showing were was a problem, leading committee members attacked the paper, tried to have it retracted, which would have destroyed the career of the authors. Fortunately, the attacks only showed the ignorance of the those committee members.

In the end the science won out, the NFL has admitted once and only once, that there is a problem.

The battle is still not over, the book ends with details of the NFL's PR campaign to make football look less violent, the decades old helmet to helmet impact graphic is gone from the Monday night football introduction, ESPN doesn't show the greatest hits of the week anymore, popular "mommy bloggers" have been wined and dined to put out the message that NFL cares. Some of the scientists that initially found the link
between football and CTE have possibly been compromised by joining the new renamed NFL concussion committee, this is a point of some debate.

I don't think I'll be able to watch another NFL or any football game after reading this book.
Mark Fainaru-Wada, Steve Fainaru
  #1  
By NorfolkAtheist on 10th November 2013, 09:48 AM
I haven't read it, but I watched the very good Frontline documentary based on the book. For those interested in the topic, but without the time to read the book, I highly reccommend the documentary. You can watch it for free from the PBS website here: http://video.pbs.org/video/2365093675/
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  #2  
By carlitos on 12th November 2013, 11:35 AM
Thanks for that review. I'm taking a break, half-way through the book and reading some fiction. It's really well-written. And very damning. But I'm still going to watch football.
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  #3  
By Jules Galen on 22nd December 2013, 12:53 AM
NorfolkAtheist,

Thank you for posting the Video Link! I watched it and found it extremely informative.
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