By Ken Reed

If you watched the “League of Denial” PBS Frontline documentary and were angered, frustrated, scared, inspired to action, or all of the above, those feelings will be enhanced after reading the book.

One thing that the authors do particularly well in the book is outline the similarities and parallels between Big Tobacco’s approach to research findings on smoking and the NFL’s approach to research findings on brain trauma in football.

To me, one of the scariest things to be highlighted in the documentary and book is that Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) has been found in the brains of a high school football player and a college football player. If CTE was found in brains this young, what does that mean for the future of youth and high school football?

Ann McKee, a neurologist, pathologist and one of the country’s leading brain researchers, is quoted in the book saying, “Most NFL players are going to get this (CTE). It’s just a matter of degree.”


“League of Denial” authors and ESPN investigative reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru recently took part in an interesting podcast interview with Patrick Hruby. It’s worth a listen to learn more about the making of the documentary and book.

The podcast is good. The documentary is very good. The book is excellent.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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