Last week somebody from the NFL stated the obvious and admitted there was a link between CTE and football. He was asked about it by a congresswoman on Capitol Hill.

That "somebody" was Jeff Miller, you may not have previously heard of him, but he's the NFL's senior vice president for health and safety policy. It was noteworthy if for no other reason than somebody from the league finally stopped rebutting scientific analysis with phony skepticism and outright denial. To the most optimistic it was a brief breakthrough of sincerity. 

Anyway today, at the owners meetings, we got back to the phony skepticism and outright denial. It happened when Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was asked about Miller's comments by SportsBusiness Journal's Daniel Kaplan. Jones took the position we've heard once or twice before, stating: 

"We don’t have that type of knowledge and background and scientifically there is no way to say that you have a relationship there. There is no research, there is no data."

Pushed a little further about the link he called it "absurd," which some may find absurd in and of itself, and then rambled for awhile:

"No, that's absurd. There's no data that in any way creates a knowledge.  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.

"So 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."

Ironically, Miller was relying upon research by Dr. Ann McKee, who found CTE in 90 of 94 dead NFLers, to back up his answer.

We'll update this story if/when Jones releases his peer-reviewed article.

[via @DKaplanSBJ]

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