By Ken Reed
Chris Borland walked away from a $2.9 million NFL contract to save his brain.
Borland, who had an outstanding rookie season with the San Francisco 49ers before giving up the game, is featured in a new public service announcement funded by the Union of Concerned Scientists. In the video, Borland outlines how the NFL hid the known research on brain injuries and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) from players.
Borland said the way the NFL has downplayed the risks of brain injuries and disease in football “is especially sad when you think about the fact that there are 5-year-old kids out there playing tackle football.”
The Union of Concerned Scientists claim the N.F.L. denied the growing mound of research about concussions and C.T.E. in a way similar to the ways the tobacco industry, fossil fuel companies and the makers of sugary sodas have historically tried to hide the health consequences of their products.
“The costs are high, and the N.F.L. has made a lot of money while passing those costs on to the players, their families and their communities. We need to stop this from continuing — in football and in other industries — by standing up for science,” said Borland in the PSA.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of FansPrint
- League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.