The National Football League conducted a two-decade campaign to deny a growing body of scientific research that showed a link between playing football and brain damage, according to a new book co-authored by a pair of ESPN investigative reporters.
The book, "League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth," reports that the NFL used its power and resources to discredit independent scientists and their work; that the league cited research data that minimized the dangers of concussions while emphasizing the league's own flawed research; and that league executives employed an aggressive public relations strategy designed to keep the public unaware of what league executives really knew about the effects of playing the game. ESPN The Magazine and Sports Illustrated published book excerpts on Wednesday morning.
The NFL's whitewash of the debilitating neurological effects of playing football suffered by players began under former commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who left office in 2006, but continued under his successor, current commissioner Roger Goodell, according to the book written by ESPN investigative reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru.
The book, which will be released Tuesday by Crown Archetype, compares the NFL's two decades of actions on health and safety to that of Big Tobacco -- the group of cigarette-making corporations whose executives for years covered up the fact their products contained dangerous, addictive,...