NFL Commissioner Defends League After Frank Gifford Brain Disease Revelation

“The NFL has made numerous rules changes to the game, all to enhance player health and safety at all levels of football,” Roger Goodell says after football legend’s family announces he had concussion-related CTE

Last Updated: November 25, 2015 @ 4:37 PM

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell defended the league’s health and safety efforts Wednesday following the revelation that Hall of Famer Frank Gifford suffered from concussion-related brain disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

Gifford died earlier this year and his family announced the results earlier Wednesday of a test conducted on his brain after his death, which confirmed their suspicion that he suffered from CTE — a progressive degenerative brain disease often linked to concussions suffered by football players.

“We appreciate the Gifford family’s desire to help the medical community understand more about CTE, and we are grateful for their support of the league’s efforts to improve safety in our game,” Goodell said in his statement.

“At the NFL, we are supporting grants to NIH and Boston University as well as other independent efforts to research the effects of repetitive head trauma.”

He continued, “But we are not waiting until science provides all of the answers. We are working now to improve the safety of our game.”

Read the full statement from Goodell below:

Frank Gifford was a beloved member of the NFL family.  He exemplified everything good about our game throughout his 85 years of extraordinary accomplishments, both on and off the field.

We appreciate the Gifford family’s desire to help the medical community understand more about CTE, and we are grateful for their support of the league’s efforts to improve safety in our game. At the NFL, we are supporting grants to NIH and Boston University as well as other independent efforts to research the effects of repetitive head trauma.

But we are not waiting until science provides all of the answers. We are working now to improve the safety of our game. The NFL has made numerous rules changes to the game, all to enhance player health and safety at all levels of football.  These include 39 rule changes and better training and practice protocols that are yielding measurable results.

This work will continue as the health and safety of our players remains our highest priority. We have more work to do — work that honors great men like Frank Gifford.

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