By Ken Reed

The NFL players’ union has given a 10-year $100 million grant to Harvard Medical School to study the health risks associated with playing football. The grant was fueled by growing player concerns regarding brain injuries incurred in the nation’s most popular sport. The goal of the study is to develop strategies to limit the long-term damage that players suffer from years of hits on the field.

Harvard Medical School Dean Jeffrey Flier said the research would aim to address health concerns at all levels of play.

“Millions of kids and college athletes play football, formally and informally,” according to Flier. “We cannot afford to ignore the health risks associated with this sport.”

In addition to the wrongful death lawsuit recently filed by former All-Pro Junior Seau’s family, the NFL faces lawsuits from more than 2,000 former players who claim NFL management concealed information about the risk of chronic brain injury to players.

As the NFL parties in New Orleans this week, the heat is getting cranked up on NFL owners and executives on the brain trauma front.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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