NFL Says It Will Honor Concussion-Research Funding Promise After House Inquiry

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2017

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 01:  The NFL shield logo is seen following a press conference held by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (not pictured) at the George R. Brown Convention Center on February 1, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
Tim Bradbury/Getty Images

The NFL issued a statement to the Washington Post's Mark Maske Wednesday confirming it plans to honor its commitment and provide $30 million of funding to support concussion research at the National Institutes of Health.

According to Maske, Democratic members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce asked the NFL if it intended to fulfill its 2012 pledge and donate the $18 million remaining on its balance to the NIH.

"We are currently engaged in constructive discussions with the [Foundation for the National Institutes of Health] regarding potential new research projects and the remaining funds of our $30 million commitment," the league said.

The congressional pressure comes a year after the New York Times' John Branch reported the NFL and its head, neck and spine committee allegedly tried to "improperly influence the government research, trying to steer the study toward a doctor with ties to the league."

"Our investigation has shown that while the NFL had been publicly proclaiming its role as funder and accelerator of important research, it was privately attempting to influence that research," the congressional study said. "The NFL attempted to use its 'unrestricted gift' as leverage to steer funding away from one of its critics."

On Tuesday, a study published in the medical journal JAMA found chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in the brains of 110 of 111 deceased NFL players.

"The medical and scientific communities will benefit from this publication and the NFL will continue to work with a wide range of experts to improve the health of current and former NFL athletes," the league said in a statement issued to CNN.