NFL Acknowledges Link Between Football, Brain Disease For First Time


The NFL finally is starting to acknowledge what long has been suspected in regards to the link between football and head trauma.

NFL senior vice president for health and safety Jeff Miller admitted Monday before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy and Commerce that there is a link between chronic traumatic encephalopathy — CTE — and football-related head trauma.

Miller’s admission is the first time the NFL has publicly acknowledged the link between football and the brain disease.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky asked Miller if he believe there was a “link between football and degenerative brain disorders like CTE,” to which Miller answered by referring to earlier CTE studies from Boston University’s Dr. Ann McKee.

“Well, certainly Dr. McKee’s research shows that a number of retired NFL players were diagnosed with CTE, so the answer to that question is certainly ‘yes,’ ” Miller said, per The Associated Press.

Miller quickly pivoted, though, adding: “But there are also a number of questions that come with that.”

Schakowsky then pressured Miller by asking the question again, to which Miller responded: “Yes. Sure.”

As The AP points out, the NFL as recently as the Super Bowl dragged its feet in declaring a tie between football and CTE. Dr. Mitch Berger, a member of the NFL’s head, neck and spine committee, wouldn’t admit a connection.

“The science is just not there yet,” Berger said in February, according to Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal, per

Miller declined comment when asked about Berger’s assessment Monday, saying he refused to “speak for Dr. Berger.”

Thumbnail photo via Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports Images

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