Pro Football Talk – The NFL continues to mount an aggressive response to last week’s controversial New York Times article alleging incomplete concussion research and touting ties between pro football and Big Tobacco. …
On Monday, the league specifically demanded an “immediate retraction” of the story, on the basis that it was “false and defamatory.”
The letter, signed by Brad S. Karp of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison (a/k/a the Ted Wells firm) … accuses the Times of using a “sensational headline” tying the NFL to the tobacco industry without sufficient evidence to merit the link, and explains that the Times “recklessly disregarded the truth and defamed the NFL.”
If I can be allowed to speak on behalf of all New England, or at least that segment of the population our morning show guys call Thornton Nation, I want to offer my deepest sympathies to the NFL in this difficult time. It can’t be easy for an organization to be defamed with innuendo that is “false and defamatory,” place underneath a “sensational headline” that “defamed” you. And I think I can rightfully say we are all glad they hired a reputable firm like the one Ted Wells works for to stand up for them in this fight.
It has to be hard to have your reputation damaged like this on the basis of flimsy evidence gleaned from communication between members of your organization, taken out of context and twisted to fit someone’s preset agenda. So we can all understand why they would demand a retraction. Nobody wants some report against themselves to sit on the Internet for months, uncorrected and filled with falsehoods that make you look bad.
So godspeed, NFL. All of New England feels your pain exactly as much as you felt ours.