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NFL attempt to influence brain injury study

Ohio coaches likely realize that a serious blow to the head can take an individual out of play at a critical stage in a game. Concussion protocol has been a huge focus in both professional and amateur sports since a link between brain disease and football activities was identified by a researcher at Boston University. Although the NFL indicated that it would contribute $30 billion for research in this area, the league later withdrew its support after unsuccessfully attempting to influence the selection of a grant recipient for further study in this area.

Reports indicate that NFL officials communicated their concern that Boston University would not be able to participate without bias. The National Institutes of Health includes a prohibition of donor influence on the recipients of grant funds, and the agency refused to remove the Boston University researcher from consideration. An official with the NIH noted that there was a significant history involving the complaint because the researcher in question was integral in making the discovery about football-related head injuries and brain disease.

A New Jersey congressman was involved in the report issued about the matter. However, the NFL indicates that it has not acted improperly. An email from the NFL to NIH officials was a concern in the midst of the investigation about the situation, which noted that the NIH was correct to act without catering to the NFL interests.

An individual may participate in sports with an awareness of the potential for personal injury. However, appropriate protections and equipment are considered integral in supporting player safety. This includes concussion protocols that are designed to limit the risk of further brain injury. In a hypothetical case involving illegal contact aimed at causing harm to a particular player, an individual or team might be held legally responsible for a serious injury.

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