The Super Bowl is a massive stage for advertisers, and the New York Times is using the platform to shed light on the NFL’s dark side.
The Times on Tuesday released a powerful, one-minute ad addressing the NFL’s history with concussions.
Titled “Investigating Concussions in the N.F.L.,” it flashes a series of headlines that first depict the rise of Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau, then take a stark turn after a headline about Seau’s 2011 suicide, which later was linked to the brain damage he suffered during his NFL playing days.
The chilling spot, which is part of the newspaper’s “The Truth Has A Voice” campaign, attempts to show the power of journalism, as the NFL changed its concussion protocol late in the 2017 season in part due to increased public concern about head injuries in the NFL.
The league still has a long way to go in addressing its concussion issue, though: Recent research found there were 281 reported concussions during the 2017 preseason and regular season, the highest total since the NFL began sharing such data in 2012.
Josh Begley of The Intercept put human faces to that alarming number Thursday morning in a gut-wrenching video montage he posted to Twitter.
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