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Questions that Congress needs to ask the NFL at tomorrow's House Judicary Committee hearing examining concussions in professional football

According to published reports, in anticipation of tomorrow’s congressional hearing in New York City which will continue to examine the way the NFL deals with concussions, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to 44 governors urging them to pass legislation that mandates that student athletes be removed from play following a concussion and that they not be allowed to return to play until they receive appropriate medical clearance.

The NFL said in an e-mail Sunday that Goodell’s letter will be part of Dr. Richard Ellenbogen’s testimony at Rep. John Conyers’ forum on concussions in New York on Monday. Ellenbogen heads the NFL’s new Head, Neck and Spine Committee.

So here are some questions that our congressional representatives need to ask the NFL at tomorrow’s hearing:

  • Would you agree that a concussion is a brain injury?
  • Would you agree that all concussions need to be taken seriously?
  • Would you agree that there is nothing mild about a mild traumatic brain injury which can have life long consequences?
  • Would you agree that not every player suffers from identical symptoms and that some symptoms develop shortly after a concussion, but others may take days or even weeks to become apparent?
  • Would you agree that there are physical, behavioral and social problems that may develop following a concussion?
  • Would you agree that even though most individuals recover following a concussion, reliable medical evidence shows that between 10-20% of those who suffer a mild concussion NEVER fully recover and face life long disability?

By the way, all of the above statements come from government publications and are easily provable. 

Now that we know so much more about concussions and mild traumatic brain injury, would you agree to take a second look at all those players who have previously applied for disability benefits caused by a traumatic brain injury under the NFL disability plan and have been turned down?

Will you adapt the slogan, WHEN IN DOUBT, KEEP THEM OUT?

I will be at tomorrow’s concussion hearings and look forward to our esteemed representatives to ask these questions and more.




Paulette Demato

Brain & Body Alternatives, Inc. a Long Island based non profit committed to improving the quality of life for persons with brain injuries fully supports the efforts of Commissioner Goodell and hopes Congress, the NFL, NCAA, school and community athletics and
parents, will support "When in doubt, keep them out".

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