A new report from the New York Times has revealed that the National Football League (NFL) may have knowingly presented flawed concussion data as evidence that head injuries do not affect players’ long-term health.
According to the report from Times reporters Alan Schwarz, Walt Bogdanich and Jacqueline Williams, the NFL attested that data presented by the league’s self-formed committee to investigate the impact of concussions on its platers contained all instances of concussions as reported by each of its member teams. However, the Times investigation found significant holes in the data, as well as evidence that the NFL proceeded with the flawed statistics even after it became aware of potential data gaps.
“For the last 13 years, the NFL has stood by research … based on a full accounting of all concussions diagnosed by team physicians from 1996 through 2001,” the authors wrote. “But confidential data obtained by the Times shows that more than 100 diagnosed concussions were omitted from the studies … The committee then calculated the rates of concussions using the incomplete data, making them appear less frequent than they actually were.”