Matt Chaney, who has been critical of the establishment on various subjects including concussions highlights what Jim McMahon and his group of NFL’ers have been saying in preparations for the law suits aimed at the league. The following excerpt from a Chaney post on his blog appeared in June of 2011, prior to all the suits (bold my emphasis);
Doctors and medical researchers have long agreed boxing can cause brain damage in athletes and lead to personality disorders and outbursts, through repetitive impacts both concussive and sub-concussive.
A 1973 study on postmortem evidence of 15 ex-pro boxers who suffered “punch-drunk syndrome” documented their “violent behavior and rage reaction” through interviews of relatives. Several of the boxers died in psychiatric wards.
Decades earlier, boxers who became demented and deranged were known as “slug nutty,” according to a 1928 report by Dr. Harrison Martland.
Meanwhile, yet today, the NFL and loyalist experts loathe admitting that tackle football even causes long-term impairment, much less off-field violence by players and chaos for families.
Neuropsychologist Mark R. Lovell, career NFL consultant with a PhD—and marketer of the critically rebuked ImPACT “concussion testing” pushed by the league’s media machine—helped author a 2011 review that concludes “adverse long-term neurocognitive effects of concussive injury have been demonstrated empirically in professional boxers only” [italics for emphasis].
The NFL’s stalling about brain damage in players is easy to lampoon, along with its PR measures such as arbitrary fines for helmet hits and lousy concussion assessments.
But there is legal logic for NFL absurdity in the issue, say astute observers, and especially the league’s acting innocent when an active player or retiree goes berserk.
“This shows that the NFL is frightened about getting sued,” Dr. Gabe Mirkin, sports medicine pioneer and erstwhile Redskins consultant, told Washington City Paper. “Mark my words: The NFL is going to be at the end of a lawsuit where a guy says they should be paying for this or that criminal behavior, because some guy got hit in the head too much playing football, and a jury will be convinced of that.”
“And that is a reasonable argument. The brain controls everything. And there’s accumulating evidence to show that getting hit in the head can cause anything to change—thought processes, mood, anything. The NFL has to act like it’s taking action.”
The last paragraph even goes further in the concussion awareness and assessment realm, as Don Brady, PhD a serial commenter on the blog stated upon reading this paragraph;
This spotlights why valid concussion assessments need to thoroughly evaluate all 3 brain-related areas: cognitive (and not a partial screening), emotional and physical functioning.