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On day before NFL Congressional Hearings-New York Times Editorial Needs to be Heeded: My Thoughts on What Needs to be Done

On Monday, Congress is scheduled to hold further hearings in Detroit Michigan on the NFL and its approach to traumatic brain injuries.

In Sunday's New York Times, an editorial appears "Dangerous Game" commenting on the state of the NFL and its past history of concussion management.  After paying tribute to congressional effort's to focus public attention on this public health crisis and the great work of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, at Boston University, the Times rightfully concludes that the football needs to be serious and change it's game plan to prevent further needless brain damage from occurring.

Here is some language from the Times editorial which needs repeating:

"It will take more than new rules, or new corroborating evidence, to change a macho culture in which coaches and TV announcers seem to value vicious “hits” above all else, and players are mocked or presumed soft for sitting out with injuries.

Players and their families need to be warned in plain language about the risks involved. Officials at all levels — high school, college and the pros — must revisit the rules of contact to limit often deliberate blows to the head. And coaches must be sensitized to the dangers of such injuries and be measured not only by their won-lost records but by how they treat their players."

Congress needs to examine the way brain injured players have been denied disability benefits which they are entitled to and change the rules of the game.  The NFL cannot be allowed to hide behind ERISA safeguards.  Players should be permitted to challenge negative determinations in courts of law without favor being played to the biased and erroneous determinations of NFL doctors for hire.

Congress needs to examine whether uniform rules need to be put in place to require those with a concussion and those suspected of having a concussion to be benched until they receive proper medical clearance.  These same rules need to be put in place on the state and local level as well to provide needed protection to our student athletes.

Congress needs to increase funding for brain injury research and put an end to insurance companies wrongfully denying persons with a brain injury necessary rehabilitation.  The rehabilitation of the brain should not be treated in the same manner as a fractured hip.  It's time that the rules of the game be changed.

Congress needs to look at the fraud and conspiracy and junk science being perpetrated on victims of brain injury by studies and "scientists" who are funded by the defense of brain injury cases and their insurance company benefactors.  

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