After years of denying that football players have suffered brain injury as a direct result of concussions, the NFL has admitted to a frightening statistic.
An estimated 28% of NFL players are expected to develop long-term cognitive problems from the brain trauma sustained during their careers.
According to the New York Times, a report by the NFL’s lawyers stated that three in ten players will end up with brain problems such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s. The NFL report said the chances of players developing these problems “are materially higher than those expected in the general population” and would come at “notably younger ages.”
“This statement clears up all the confusion and doubt manufactured over the years questioning the link between brain trauma and long-term neurological impairment,” said Chris Nowinski, the executive director of the Sports Legacy Institute.
Brad Karp, a lawyer representing the NFL said that actuaries hired by the league based their findings on medical diagnoses reported by retired players who are suing the league. The data in the report was prepared as part of the NFL’s proposed $765 million settlement for thousands of former NFL players who suffer from brain injury.
The release of the data was designed to address the criticisms of the settlement amount. The league agreed this summer to remove the cap and pay more over time if needed.