Thursday, February 21, 2013

Roger Goodell: Marlboro Man

Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, earned over $29 million in salary and bonuses last year.  The current TV contracts negotiated with NBC, ESPN, CBS, and FOX will guarantee the league's owners over $7 billion to be split amongst themselves. 

Remind me again why anyone would possibly doubt Mr Goodell's sincerity when he says that his primary concern is the safety and well being of NFL players?  Remember his quote from the Bob Schieffer interview:
In fact, we’re all learning more about brain injuries, and the NFL has led the way,” he declared. “We started a concussion committee back in the mid-90s with the players’ association to study these issues and advance science. We’re obviously now learning more and more, and we’re investing more and more. And I think that’s going to lead to answers, even outside of brain injury, even to brain disease.”

What cannot be emphasized enough is that this committee (the Mild Brain Trauma Injury committee) was led not by an independent neurologist or neurosurgeon, but by a salaried rheumatologist named Elliot Pellman.  Now for those unfamiliar with medical terminology, a rheumatologist is a doctor who typically manages auto-immune mediated diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis.  The only logical explanation for appointing a rheumatologist to head your ad hoc head injury committee is to guarantee message control.  They may as well have named a dentist to head the committee.  Rarely does one come across such a flagrant example of cynical self interest.  The NFL was so arrogant, so dismissive of player safety that they didn't even feel the need to appoint a stooge specialist within the field of head trauma. 

It's truly astounding. 

And Roger Goodell is laughing all the way to the bank. 


Attorney Andy said...

Your analogy in the title to the tobacco industry is a good one. The verdicts that come from the NFL cases will be comparable. Unfortunately, fake scientific studies to insulate one from legal liability is not uncommon. The journals in which these charlatans get their "studies" published need to do a better job reviewing submissions for conflict of interest and secondary gain motives.

Anonymous said...

Goldell got exposed for being rather hypocritical.

Anonymous said...

As long as there is a "demand" for high-octane sports (like football and hockey)there will be a supply of young men willing to crash into one another on their way to what they hope will be a lucrative college or pro career. Violent levels of play in the NFL or NHL will not change unless management decides and enforces modifications. But will that sell; management surely considers what the paying public wants. And,from the Roman Colosseum to modern stadiums one wonders, would people come to see less violence? The answer speaks to our socio-cultural penchant for all forms of violence including video-games, movies and of course, guns.