The NFL took another important step in the battle for complete player safety on Monday afternoon.
In an online letter to fans (via NFLEvolution.com), commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the league will be partnering up with GE and Under Armour:
That’s why we are announcing today an exciting new collaboration with GE and Under Armour to accelerate scientific progress around brain injuries. The objective of working with GE, the world’s leader in medical imaging, is to produce the next generation of medical equipment to improve concussion diagnosis, protection and treatment. Under Armour will deliver its knowledge and understanding of athletes to help make safety not just part of, but essential to, the culture of athletic success.
According to Goodell, this collaboration means that the NFL will be working with "scientists, entrepreneurs, academics and other experts from around the world" to further ensure the safety of its players.
Moreover, the league and its new partners will be contributing more than $60 million to the Head Health Initiative, which is a program to help better understand—and thus better protect—the brain.
The NFL has received a lot of flak over the past years for becoming too "soft," but there's no question that this is a positive development for the league.
Junior Seau's tragic death and subsequent wrongful death suit by his family earlier this season helped highlight the dangers of concussions in the NFL, but if you've been paying attention over the past decade, you would know how serious and dangerous head injuries have become.
That solution can involve safer play on the field, but it doesn't have to eliminate tackling altogether, which is where it seems the league is headed sometimes.
Instead, with so much technology at our fingertips, it only makes sense to develop better, safer equipment along with ways to quickly and more accurately diagnose injuries.
This new partnership for the NFL appears to be a thoroughly positive step toward reaching those goals and improving the game we all love.