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SBD/September 6, 2012/NFL Season Preview
NFL Provides $30M Grant To Fund National Institutes Of Health Brain-Injury Study
Published September 6, 2012
OCCUPATIONAL HAZARD: USA TODAY’s Mihoces & Lloyd note a report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) concluded former NFL players “are far more likely to die from brain disease than the general public.” The study found that "ex-players were three or four times more likely to die from brain diseases.” The report was “based on new analysis of a 1994 NIOSH study involving 3,439 players who spent at least five seasons in the NFL" from '59-88 (USA TODAY, 9/6). The study is “the most extensive survey of former athletes since concern about the long-term consequences of repeated blows to the head has become a major safety issue among NFL players” (AP, 9/5). N.Y. Daily News columnist Mike Lupica said this study will have a “profound” impact on the sport, as it is the “single greatest health crisis in American sports." Lupica: “This is like a sport that’s taking a cumulative amount of hits to the head and it’s going to suffer over time” (“Today,” NBC, 9/6).
SHAKE IT OFF: In DC, Maese & Clement in a front-page piece yesterday reported a Washington Post poll “suggests that football remains by far the country’s most popular sport” and that “the game’s inherent violence is as much of an appeal as it is a liability.” In the poll, 44% of fans "say their interest in pro football is on the rise, while 32 percent report a drop-off." More than one in three of Americans polled said that football is “their favorite to watch -- nearly three times as popular as baseball, which finished second.” While nearly six in 10 Americans say that they are “concerned about the number of injuries in professional football," just 20% are "‘very concerned,’ with just as many expressing no concern at all” (WASHINGTON POST, 9/5).