Book alleges NFL covered up concussion risks, tainted research

The National Football League (NFL) attempted to downplay the risks of playing football and tried to influence concussion research, according to bombshell allegations in a new book, “League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth.”

According to an excerpt published by ESPN, the NFL worked for two decades to undercut growing research linking brain damage to playing football by trying to have medical journals retract published work and by injecting its own controversial research findings.

For example, in the mid-1990s, an NFL investigatory committee published research in the journal Neurosurgery that concluded concussions were minor injuries and that football did not lead to brain damage, according to ESPN investigative reporters.

The book’s revelations follow a contentious few months in the ongoing football concussion saga that has consumed the sport. In August, the NFL reached a $765 million settlement with former players who argued the league didn’t do enough to protect players. Earlier that month, ESPN itself raised eyebrows when it withdrew its brand from a joint documentary project it was producing in collaboration with PBS’ Frontline.

The book excerpt can be read here.