National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Wednesday an initiative intended to increase the safety of the game, specifically by preventing, diagnosing and treating head injuries.
As part of the initiative, Goodell said, the league and its 32 club owners will provide $100 million in support of engineering advancements and medical research -- in addition to the $100 million previously pledged by the league to medical and neuroscience research.
The Play Smart Play Safe initiative also requires hiring a physician to serve as the league's chief medical officer. The physician will work with each team's medical staff and establish an independent scientific advisory board to consider head injury research proposals.
Since 2002, the NFL has made 42 rule changes to protect players, in addition to staffing each game with 29 medical professionals, Goodell noted in his statement.
Is this new initiative another Hail Mary to assuage critics? The NFL's history suggests that some hard lessons may have been learned.
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