One of life’s enduring mysteries has been the NFL’s continued employment of Dr. Elliot Pellman, a Guadalajara-educated rheumatologist with questionable qualifications, whose greatest career achievement is a years-long campaign to conceal and downplay the effects of concussions on NFL players. This is a man who, despite having no experience or expertise in brain research, helped author 16 papers that waved off the dangers of sending concussed players back into the game. And yet there he remained, still drawing a paycheck from the NFL and serving as the league’s medical director.
That all changed today, with Roger Goodell reportedly convincing Pellman to take an early retirement:
The NFL has been eager to downplay Pellman’s involvement in the day-to-day administration of league medical policies, but his name popped up in a Congressional investigation into the league’s interference with a concussion study that was supposed to be carried out by the National Institute of Health. The investigation revealed that it was Pellman who first sent an email to the foundation that funds the NIH to express the league’s concerns with the supposedly biased doctors who had been selected to lead the study. In that email, Pellman asked the foundation to “slow down the process until we all have a chance to speak and figure this out.”