Concussion controversy: Traumatic brain injury gets more attention after NFL player incident
The NFL has become a national conversation topic about the dangers of concussions following last weekend’s incident involving Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. The latest in a series of incidents on the field, NFL officials said on March 28 that Rice had an “abrasion” on his forehead consistent with a blow “from a blunt object.”
The Rice incident did not involve any contact with Rice’s head but was caught on video surveillance that showed Rice, who was carrying a bag of Rice’s belongings and not wearing a helmet, knocking down a female employee attempting to restrain him while he was on his cell phone in his truck, according to the Washington Post.
The New York Times published an editorial on March 23 decrying the “myth” of football as a safer game than hockey, one where players who suffer concussions are being given extra time off from work. Former NFL coach Mike Shanahan, the former head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, and the NFL’s vice president for public and community relations, Paul Sullivan, defended the NFL’s handling of the Rice case on Monday.
The NFL is still reviewing the Rice case, which is one of the NFL’s most high-profile concussion investigations. The league had already suspended Rice and fined him $100,000 by March 22.
The league has faced a series of criticism about its handling of concussions as well as a number of other issues since its report in 2005 of an alleged cover-up by the NFL and players.
In a March 27 press conference, Sullivan defended the NFL’s handling of Rice’s case, stating that “we have had four investigations, and this is the same as all other cases that have been investigated.”
Sullivan said the NFL was working closely with the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to create a “national database” to ensure concussions were not being missed and that there would be increased testing.
“I believe we have a very good and thorough case and we’re conducting an exhaustive investigation,�