Roger Goodell reaffirmed the league’s commitment to concussion research. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)
On Thursday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter obtained a letter Roger Goodell sent to the owners and presidents of the NFL’s 32 teams where he emphasized the league’s commitment to the treatment of head injuries and independent medical research.
Following is the complete letter:
As discussed during our recent meeting, the NFL has a unique responsibility and opportunity to drive change and advance progress in the prevention and treatment of head injuries. That is our unwavering commitment to our players, former players, athletes at all levels, and society more broadly.
At the core of that commitment is your continued and robust support of independent medical research, including the $30 million contribution to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for scientific research on concussion and head injury. I want to reaffirm in the strongest possible terms my comments to you during the league meeting and my public statements this week reaffirming the NFL’s commitment to the NIH of the $30 million in grant funding we pledged to accelerate scientific understanding of concussion and head injury. There was no consideration given to anything other than honoring that commitment in its entirety.
The research you have funded thus far is significant. It includes $12 million that has been allocated through the NIH for two $6 million agreements dedicated to studies that define the long-term changes that occur in the brain after a head injury or multiple concussions. Boston University School of Medicine and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs received $6 million for a study on CTE and post-traumatic neurodegeneration, while Mount Sinai Hospital received $6 million for a study on the neuropathology of CTE and Delayed Effects of TBI. Additionally, the NFL grant has funded six pilot projects totaling more than $2 million to provide support for the early stages of sports-related concussion projects .
Apart from our firm commitment of $30 million to the NIH for scientific research, we will move forward on the work discussed with you earlier this week, including substantial additional funding for projects relating to safety equipment, treatment of athletes who have experienced concussions, and a longitudinal study relating to the incidence and prevalence of long-term health consequences. We are fortunate to be guided on these projects by the finest medical and scientific advisors and appreciate their dedication to our ongoing efforts.
We look forward to a productive and ongoing partnership with the NIH and others to advance our shared priorities, and to committing additional funding to medical research and engineering advances to enhance the safety of athletes at all levels.