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Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru
ESPN/Outside the Lines
On August 31st, the National Football League ended it’s much ballyhooed $30 million commitment to fund the National Institute of Health’s research into football-related brain injuries. The NIH balked, with $16 million unspent, when the NFL tried to place restrictions on its “unrestricted gift.” The NFL, with projected revenues of $14 billion in 2017, has taken the science in-house, ending any pretense NFL-funded “concussion" research will be independent.
The forthcoming film Concussion, starring Will Smith, is coming for the NFL. If Concussion came out now, it would get less coverage than the Washington quarterback controversy. But tragically, we know that by December, another season of injuries, another season of tragedies will be winding down and the film will amplify all of those renewed concerns.