NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has announced a new $100 million concussion initiative by the league to develop new technology and study neuroscience in an attempt to better protect players against football-related head injuries.
The league plans to spend $60 million on technology, including developing better helmets for players and the possibility of position-specific helmets customized to protect against different types of head impacts, USA Today reported.
The remaining $40 million will focus on neuroscience and its role in preventing concussions and other problems.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Goodell said the initiative “builds on what we’ve done in the last few years but takes it to another level in a variety of areas. ... It’s all about protecting our players.”
Goodell added, “There are still things for us to do to make our game safer for our players, and that’s what we’re gonna do.”
Goodell published his plans in an open letter on the NFL's "Play Smart. Play Safe." website, which include the establishment of an independent scientific advisory board to study and support scientific research into the long term effects of concussions and head injuries.
CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and its relationship to football-related concussions will be studied as part of the initiative as well. Goodell had already announced plans in July to hire a “highly credentialed physician” as the league’s chief medical officer, though the position has not yet been filled.
Although Goodell acknowledged in his letter that there is great skepticism about the league’s work in protecting its athletes from head injuries, the process will be transparent and shared with the public to show good faith.
A $1 billion settlement of thousands of concussion lawsuits by former players is currently working its way through the courts.