Rep. Jan Schakowsky Statement on Report Showing NFL Attempted to Influence NIH Research on Brain Injuries

Washington, DC –(ENEWSPF)–May 24, 2016.  Today, Rep. Jan Schakowsky released the following statement after a report was released following a months-long investigation by Democratic Members of the Energy and Commerce Committee highlighting how far the NFL went to hide the truth about brain injuries in football:

“The National Football League (NFL) has a consistent record of denying and discrediting scientific inquiry into the risks of playing football. They have worked time and again to protect their brand over player safety by attacking any effort to highlight the dangers of playing football. Earlier this year, at a roundtable hosted by the Energy and Commerce Committee, I raised my concerns over the NFL’s continued effort to hide the truth about the dangers associated with football and asked the NFL if there was a link between football and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which is caused the repeated sub-concussive blows to the head. For the first time ever, the NFL admitted that there is a link; despite their fierce denial up until that point. The troubling report released today shows further proof of the extent to which the NFL has gone to hide the truth about the impacts of brain injuries, including CTE.

This report is the result of a months-long investigation conducted in response to concerns I raised in the roundtable and over previous months along with Ranking Member Pallone and fellow Democrats. Dating back to January, I requested information along with my colleagues from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Friends of NIH (FNIH), and the NFL. The subsequent investigation showed the lengths that the NFL went in attempting to influence the NIH’s grant-making process after the NFL had agreed to fund a study on brain injuries. Moreover, when the NFL was unable to inappropriately influence this process, they rescinded their offer to fund this research.

“This is nothing new from the NFL. Time and again, the NFL has conducted faulty, biased research and attacked those who have attempted to discover the truth. They have failed to be forthcoming with the facts to Congress, the American public, or to those who play the sport. Their shameful attempt to undermine critical research on CTE is yet another attempt to shield players, their families, and the public about the true dangers of repetitive head injuries caused by sub-concussive hits. Current and future players deserve to know the full risks involved with playing football. The report released today makes it clear that the NFL must be held accountable and must not be allowed to hide behind faulty studies and lies.”

Source: http://www.schakowsky.house.gov