NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent the following letter to fans today. It details efforts to make the game safer.
It’s too late for Jahvid Best, but perhaps it will help others.
To NFL Fans:
Another exciting season of football has come to an end – truly one of our best. But for all of us in the NFL, this is a crucial time of the year. The offseason is when we reevaluate our policies, renew our commitment to improve every aspect of the game and recalibrate in preparation for next season.
At the NFL, we embrace the opportunity to continuously improve by making our sport safer and more exciting.
From taking immediate, meaningful steps to address concussions in our society, to improving rules to protect defenseless players, to teaming with the United States Army on culture change programs, to enhancing support for independent research with the NIH, to advancing the science around concussions, we are making the game better by making it safer. It’s part of our overall commitment to delivering the health players deserve as well as the game fans want.
The future of our great game is bright. But we still have more work to do. As stewards of the game, it is our responsibility to make it better, and we take that responsibility very seriously.
We know we can achieve more through cooperation and consultation than we can achieve on our own. That’s why we are announcing today an exciting new collaboration with GE and Under Armour to accelerate scientific progress around brain injuries. The objective of working with GE, the world's leader in medical imaging, is to produce the next generation of medical equipment to improve concussion diagnosis, protection and treatment. Under Armour will deliver its knowledge and understanding of athletes to help make safety not just part of, but essential to, the culture of athletic success.
This is just the beginning. In the next two years, the NFL, GE and Under Armour will solicit ideas from scientists, entrepreneurs, academics and other experts from around the world to help better protect athletes against concussions and identify brain injuries. In two innovation challenges, we will reward contributors who offer the best ideas on these two topics as judged by independent experts. Between the clinical trials, product development and innovation challenges, the NFL, GE and Under Armour are dedicating more than $60 million toward the Head Health Initiative.
In addition, the Army and the NCAA will join us in an effort to create game-changing solutions that transcend sports and reach across our society - from professional and recreational sports to the military. This work will benefit our young athletes with next generation brain protection and assist our soldiers, who will receive faster and more accurate diagnosis of their injuries. We are paving the way towards a safe and healthy future.
Our players and teams are dedicated to an offseason of improvement. We too are committed to making the game safer and better, for the good of the game and the athletes who play it. Our new collaboration greatly adds to our roster of experienced scientists, thinkers, and doers to find and utilize the most effective solutions. It positions us on an accelerated path to progress.
Click here www.NFLGEBrainChallenge.com to learn more about the program. And thank you for your continued support as we all look forward to another exciting NFL season.
Commissioner, National Football League