Here we go. We knew this was eventually coming, but it's finally here. Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru's new book, League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth, say the NFL spent two decades trying to discredit and hide concussion science.
The book... reports that the NFL used its power and resources to discredit independent scientists and their work; that the league cited research data that minimized the dangers of concussions while emphasizing the league's own flawed research; and that league executives employed an aggressive public relations strategy designed to keep the public unaware of what league executives really knew about the effects of playing the game.
Yea. That isn't good. The NFL will certainly counter these claims, but the two reporters behind the book are the same duo who broke the BALCO scandal and took down Barry Bonds. In their new investigation the authors compare the NFL's efforts to those of Big Tobacco. They make many serious assertions.
The league in 2005 tried unsuccessfully to have medical journals retract the published work of several independent concussion researchers.
Independent researchers directly warned Goodell about the connection between football and brain damage in 2007, but the commissioner waited nearly three years to acknowledge the link and to dismantle the league's discredited concussion committee.
As far back as 1999, the NFL's retirement board paid more than $2 million in disability payments to former players after concluding football gave them brain damage. But it would be nearly a decade before league executives would publicly acknowledge a link.
Settle in. This isn't going away for a long time.