Tags: nfl | concussion | research | flawed | ties | tobacco | industry

NYT Finds Flawed NFL Concussion Data, Tobacco Industry Ties

Image: NYT Finds Flawed NFL Concussion Data, Tobacco Industry Ties
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (Getty Images) 

By    |   Thursday, 24 Mar 2016 04:55 PM

A new investigation has discovered some of the NFL's concussion research was flawed and that the league has ties to the tobacco industry, which for years tried to suppress the dangers of smoking.

The New York Times looked into a league study that examined concussion data from 1996-2001. The NFL claimed the data was based on the number of concussions suffered by players during that five-year period, but the Times found that more than 100 head injuries — some suffered by star quarterbacks Steve Young and Troy Aikman — were not included in the data.

The league told the Times "the clubs were not required to submit their data and not every club did," a fact the NFL admitted should have been communicated in the report.

Dr. Joseph Waeckerle, who served on the NFL's concussion committee formed in 1994 that worked on the study, said he did not know about the missing data.

"If somebody made a human error or somebody assumed the data was absolutely correct and didn’t question it, well, we screwed up," Waeckerle said. "If we found it wasn't accurate and still used it, that's not a screw-up; that's a lie."

The Times also discovered ties the NFL had to the tobacco industry. According to documents, they used some of the same lobbyists and lawyers. Further, a co-owner for the New York Giants — Preston R. Tisch — was a co-owner of two organizations that tried to hide the health risks of smoking.

A poll late last year found the majority of Americans think the NFL needs to do more to prevent head injuries. In January, the league said concussions in 2015 were up 58 percent in regular season games from the previous year.

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A new investigation has discovered some of the NFL's concussion research was flawed and that the league has ties to the tobacco industry, which for years tried to suppress the dangers of smoking.
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Thursday, 24 Mar 2016 04:55 PM
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