Dallas Cowboys' Jerry Jones: Football, CTE link unproven

By The Sports Xchange  |  March 23, 2016 at 1:36 AM
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The NFL recently adopted the stance that football can lead to degenerative brain problems.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones isn't convinced on the issue, however.

Speaking at the league's owners meetings in Boca Raton, Fla., Jones said Tuesday it is "absurd" to believe there is a connection between playing football and developing ailments such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

"There's no data that in any way creates a knowledge," Jones said, according to the Washington Post. "There's no way that you could have made a comment that there is an association and some type of assertion. In most things, you have to back it up by studies. And in this particular case, we all know how medicine is. Medicine is evolving. I grew up being told that aspirin was not good. I'm told that one a day is good for you. ... I'm saying that changed over the years as we've had more research and knowledge. ...

"There's no research. There's no data. ... We're not disagreeing. We're just basically saying the same thing. We're doing a lot more. It's the kind of thing that you want to work ... to prevent injury."

Jones added, "We are very supportive of the research. ... We have for years been involved in trying to make it safer, safer as it pertains to head injury. We have millions of people that have played this game, have millions of people that are at various ages right now that have no issues at all. None at all. So that's where we are. That didn't alter at all what we're doing about it. We're gonna do everything we can to understand it better and make it safer."

Jones' comments came eight days after Jeff Miller, the NFL's senior vice president for health and safety, told a congressional committee that a connection exists between football and CTE.

Miller said his opinion was based on research performed by Dr. Ann McKee, a Boston University neuropathologist. She diagnosed CTE in the brains of 176 people, including the brains of 90 of 94 former NFL players.

McKee told the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Energy and Commerce, "I unequivocally think there's a link between playing football and CTE."

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