A Head’s Up to NFL’s Goodell & Smith

National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the N.F.L. players association, should have their heads examined.

Asked by a member of a Congressional Committee if he believe head injuries can lead to dementia, the where-did-I-leave-my-IQ-this-time Goodell said, “The answer is, medical experts would know better than I do.”

As one who has lived with a head injury for more than 25 years and worked in the field for 15 of those years, the NFL’s lack of response to the life threatening and life damaging presence of head injuries is a disgrace and ought to be against the law. In fact, given the amount of evidence documenting the danger of blows to the head, why not charge some folks with manslaughter, or second-degree murder?

Smith rides the same “train” as Goodell. Smith said while the players will bargain for safety, they “will not bargain for medical care.” Are you kidding me? The NFL is an $8 billion dollar a year business, given the amount of brain damage done to players as a result of hard hits, Smith thinks bargaining for medical care is a no go?

Let me dispel a myth held by some straight away. Brain injuries, which is what head injuries are, don’t go away. They don’t heal and get all better like a cut on the finger. They are permanent, and their impact on someone’s life changes over time. Just a few years ago I could work full time without much of a problem. Now, fatigue related to the injury has reached a point where I can’t work full time anymore.

Goodell and Smith should have their heads examined, and once what I suspect to be true is established, that both heads are empty, they should be replaced.