It’s been three years since the NFL reached a $765 million settlement in a class-action suit filed by former players who claimed the league actively obscured the harmful effects of concussions. A big piece of that cover-up was a series of league-funded studies that downplayed the health risks associated with concussions, and have since been proven to be junk. Thanks to a new investigation from The New York Times, we now know that those studies were even more fraudulent than everyone already assumed them to be.
The Times got its hands on a database of concussions, diagnosed by team doctors from 1996-2001, that was used as the primary data set for the league’s series of studies. There were 887 diagnosed concussions in that database, but the Times discovered that more than 100 other concussions reported on team medical reports or in the press from 1996-2001 never made it into the database. Not only did the NFL’s studies draw false conclusions, it seems, they were based on fudged data.