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NFL’s partnership with National Institute of Health coming to an end


The partnership between the NFL and the National Institute of Health (NIH) doesn’t come as a shock, seeing as the five year deal was set to end August 31, 2017. The shocking part is the timing. With the partnership coming to a close, the recent findings of a neurology study become even more influential.

The timing of this departure between the NFL and NIH is not the best. After the results of a neurological study from neuropathologist Dr. Anne McKee were released, the longevity of NFL players is more of a concern than previously thought. The study revealed that out of 111 NFL players, ranging in ages from 23 to 89, that 110 of the 111 showed signs of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or C.T.E. C.T.E. is caused by repeated blows to the head, something football players, regardless of their position experience. The startling findings come at an interesting time.

With the partnership of the NFL and NIH dissolving, McKee’s study is sure to spark unrest among many. While the NFL is involved with funding other organizations in the pursuit of understanding more about head trauma and how to prevent it, information has come to light that the NFL has been attempting to influence the NIH’s findings. In the public eye, the NFL has been proclaiming that they are heavily in support of furheting head trauma research, but behind the scenes, they have been trying to steer research findings away from the critics.


The NFL has pledged $100 million to support independent medical and engineering research in hopes to accelerate advancements in the field of Neurology. The league has previously donated $100 million to help fund medical and neuroscience research.

Mounting research findings and news relating to the neurological risk to NFL players has raised flags among the NFL players community. Most recently, John Urschel, Baltimore Ravens lineman, announced his retirement. Just two days after Dr. McKee’s results were announced. Urschel is only 26 years old. A trend is beginning to form in the NFL as Urschel is the 14th player to retire this offseason at the age of 30 or under.

Dan Calabrese