The New York Times did a great write up on the flawed science behind the NFL concussion studies. You can read the whole thing for yourself here. Sure you can read the headline and think it is a bit of a reach. I mean on one hand you have an organization who was hell bent on prolonging their waning product popularity by going after children, hiring suspect lawyers and and funding “independent” health research programs with heavy strings attached that miraculously see no fault or liability on their end and when called out on it claim they have presented adequate upfront warning and say that whomever is endangered by their product is doing so on their own….on the other hand you have the Tobacco companies.
A co-owner of the New York Giants, Preston Tisch, was also part owner of Lorillard Tobacco Co. Sure it was Bob Tisch’s company Loews that purchased the cigarette company and it was just of many business ventures under the large umbrella including at the time CBS, you can’t fault him for that correct? True, if you didn’t know that Tisch’s nephew Andrew Tisch is the same Andrew Tisch who when asked under oath in front of congress if he believed tobacco cause cancer he answered “I do not believe that.” Besides it is not like Preston Robert Tisch is the same Robert Tisch who sat on the Tobacco Institute board. the same Board that hired Dorothy C. Mitchell to defend them and recommended her to the NFL as a great defense attorney. The New York Times has also noted there has been significant personal email chains between the two organizations asking for lobbying advice and strategy.
So how did the NFL respond to this? By calling the comparison “odious”. I imagine the NFL lawyer did this while puffing on a cigar followed by coughing up a lung.
The NFL’s wondrous concussion reports said that concussions really are not that common and to get this information they asked teams to self report and just kind of took them at their word. The New York Times found at least 100 cases of concussions left out of the studies. Under representing the affliction by about 10%. Now teams were not obligated to report allowing the Cowboys to report zero concussions during the reporting period despite Troy Aikman going on the D.L. four times (three for concussions and one for a head injury). And it is not like the guy heading up the collection of data was misrepresenting his own data. Unless it was head up by The New York Jets Dr. Pellman because they did not report at least 2 injuries to Wayne Chrebet. I mean that would just be embarrassing.
/Checks who headed up the committee and who was the Author of a lot of the concussions committee’s findings… Dr. Elliot Pellman from the New York Jets.
The league is firing back saying if the data is flawed it is by a mistake and not by some league wide order to suppress data and there is no direct evidence linking the NFL to the underhanded techniques used by Big Tobacco for years. There are just shared owners, lobbyists, lawyers and consultants and personal emails. Here is the thing if the NFL doesn’t want to be compared to Big Tobacco maybe, just maybe, the NFL should stop acting like the Tobacco companies. If they don’t then the NFL is a few steps away from purchasing a professional lacrosse league so there is a slightly less dangerous, but still totally dangerous, yet more socially acceptable replacement… ya know like Vaping.
/edit Called Pellamn Pillman