The NFL have announced that the league will invest $100 million in concussion-related initiatives to be spent in the next five years.
Of the $100 million, $60 million will be devoted to technological development aimed at improving helmets for players and the remaining $40 million will go to medical research into the effects of head injuries.
The reason behind the initiative is due to the fact that, the department of Veteran Affairs and Boston University found that 96% of former NFL players had the disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
In recent years, the NFL have had to put up with a lot of criticism because of the many head injuries NFL players have had. Not only does a lot of current players get concussions but many retired players also experience problems with their heads.
A 2015 study conducted by the Department of Veteran Affairs and Boston University found that 96% of former NFL players had the disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
— Roger Goodell (@nflcommish) September 14, 2016
The disease is a progressive degenerative disease found in people who have had repeated blows to the head.
The 2015 film, Concussion, starring Hollywood star Will Smith also shed light on the issue.
The latest public discussion occurred last week in the NFL season-opening game where the Carolina Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton repeatedly was hit in the head but was not taken off the field to be evaluated.
Therefore the NFL have now decided to invest more money into preventing injuries and to help fight head injuries after players retire. The league will also establish an independent scientific advisory board including doctors and scientists to identify and support the best ways to conduct research in the area.
Moreover, the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also expressed that initiatives around prevention of head injuries will be communicated better in the future as he points to the fact that the NFL has not been doing so in the past.
Kieran is an assistant Content Editor at Future Sport specialising in sports business and economics.