The venerable CBS Sunday morning show Face the Nation took a break from politics today to talk, with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as the program’s main guest. Among the topics on the agenda: traumatic brain injuries, a subject that has been much in the news here in Oregon with the recent enactment of laws aimed at lessening the number of Oregon traumatic brain injuries sustained through youth sports, including football.
This is an issue I have written about before (see this post from last November), and one which has caused the NFL a certain amount of public relations trouble in recent months. On CBS, Goodell rejected any suggestion that the NFL has been, as host Bob Schieffer put it, “late to recognize” the seriousness of concussions and brain injuries as a problem at the professional level. The commissioner said the league has been on top of the issue “since the mid-90s”; adding: “Medical science is still trying to determine what are the long-term effects of concussions. How do you treat these?”
This is a position with which some might take issue. As I noted in November, the league is working to counter accusations it ignored or downplayed the seriousness of concussions in football for years. When Schieffer pointed out that the NFL’s own studies show that football players are five times more likely than members of the general population to suffer brain injuries or memory loss and that among 30-49 year olds that figure rises to 19 times the average, Goodell was quick to dismiss the very NFL studies he had been touting as examples of League responsibility a few minutes earlier. “This wasn’t a medical survey,” he said.
Oregon’s leadership on the issue of brain injuries has recently been praised by outside activists. Our new laws, however, are not likely to eliminate Oregon brain injuries entirely. If a tragedy like this befalls a member of your family, or if you believe a sports injury sustained years ago is now manifesting itself in the form of memory loss, it is important that you contact an Oregon traumatic brain injury lawyer at the earliest feasible time. The process of safeguarding your rights begins with an understanding of where you stand in legal terms. Every situation is different, but a Portland sports injury lawyer can help in sorting through the difficulties of your particular circumstances.
Face the Nation web page (includes video of the full interview with Goodell)