League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis

Coming October 8, 2013Check local listings »

FRONTLINE reveals the hidden story of the NFL and brain injuries.

The National Football League, a multibillion-dollar commercial juggernaut, presides over America’s indisputable national pastime. But the NFL is under assault: thousands of former players have claimed the league tried to cover up how football inflicted long-term brain injuries on many players. What did the NFL know, and when did it know it? In a special two-hour investigation, FRONTLINE reveals the hidden story of the NFL and brain injuries.


The Autopsy That Changed Football

When Dr. Bennet Omalu found CTE in the brain of Steelers legend Mike Webster, he believed NFL doctors would want to know more. They didn’t.

NFL Commissioner Highlights Safety Record In Letter To Fans

The letter, sent to roughly 10 million fans, comes one day after the release of two book excerpts detailing the NFL’s checkered response to football’s concussion crisis.

How One Client’s Concussion Shook the Real “Jerry Maguire”

As an NFL super agent, Leigh Steinberg saw it all, especially when it came to injuries. But of all the hard hits he ever witnessed, there was one that especially frightened him: Troy Aikman’s concussion.

Report: NFL Concussion Settlement Could Shut Out Many

The very first players to be diagnosed with football-related brain damage may not allow any compensation, according to a new report.

NFL Reaches $765 Million Settlement In Concussion Lawsuit

The NFL has reached a settlement with more than 4,500 former players who were suing the league for allegedly concealing a link between traumatic brain injuries and professional football.

A Note from FRONTLINE: ESPN and “League of Denial”

You may notice some changes to our League of Denial and Concussion Watch websites.

Questions Over NFL Doctor Cloud League’s Concussion Case

As the former chairman of the NFL’s powerful research arm, Dr. Elliot Pellman helped shape the league’s concussion guidelines, yet as a rheumatologist, he had no previous expertise in brain research.

FRONTLINE Investigates the NFL’s Concussion Crisis

What did the NFL know about the connection between football and brain injuries, and when did they know it?

Coming Soon on FRONTLINE: “League of Denial”

This fall, FRONTLINE will air a special two-part investigation examining whether the NFL has covered up the risks of football on the brain.

NFL Helmet Manufacturer Warned On Concussion Risk

Despite the warning, Riddell promoted its Revolution helmet — used by players from youth leagues up to the NFL — as providing better protection against concussions.

In Brawl For Seau Brain, a Proxy War Over Concussion Science

The NFL’s intervention in the fate of Junior Seau’s brain — the most prized specimen yet in the race to document the relationship between football and brain damage — was part of an aggressive strategy to dictate who leads the science of concussions.

Concussion Researchers Consulted With NFL Players’ Lawyers

The disclosures come as oral arguments begin Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia on the NFL’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit, which involves more than 4,000 former players who allege the league concealed the effects of football-related head trauma.

New Study Finds Brain Damage in Living Ex-NFL Players

It’s the first time researchers have identified signs of the crippling brain disease known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE, in living patients.

NFL’s Progress On Concussions Blurred By Inconsistencies

An analysis of the NFL’s concussion guidelines by FRONTLINE and ESPN has revealed an array of inconsistencies in how the league tracks, treats and even describes serious head injuries.

Inside the Numbers: Counting Concussions in the NFL

The reported number of NFL players with concussions this season is on pace to increase more than 9 percent from last year, to an average of nearly nine per week.

Researchers Discover 28 New Cases of Brain Damage in Deceased Football Players

That brings the total to 50 confirmed cases of a degenerative brain disease found in former NFL, college and high school players. But some critics question whether the scientists are overstating their findings.

NFL Board Paid $2M to Players While League Denied Football-Concussion Link

The decision by the NFL’s retirement board could be critical evidence in a blockbuster player lawsuit over concussions.


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