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New York Times Refuses to Retract Story Despite NFL Demands

The paper doesn’t feel it made any errors by calling the league’s concussion research ”flawed“ and incomplete”

The New York Times has refused to retract or correct a story published last week alleging that the NFL’s concussion research was “deeply flawed.”

The Times sent a letter to NFL representatives, first reported by Politico, which doubles down on the statement that the league’s concussion research was “incomplete.” The Times denies that the story had any factual errors.

A lawyer for the league demanded a retraction in a letter sent to the Times’ legal team on Tuesday. The NFL claims the New York Times article was “contradicted by clear facts that refute both the thesis of the story and each of its allegations.”

The NFL also said, “The studies that are the focus of the Times’ story used data collected between 1996-2001. They were necessarily preliminary and acknowledged that much more research was needed.”

The Times isn’t buying that explanation, saying the league’s letter “bizarrely quibbles” and fails to identify any evidence that the NFL previously acknowledged the undercounting of concussion diagnoses.

New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reportedly said the NFL had made her aware that it felt the Times’ reporting was misleading.