Superb Owl XLVIII - Football Health Concerns - Steve Fainaru & Mark Fainaru-Wada

  • Aired:  01/30/14
  •  | Views: 13,825

"League of Denial" authors Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada argue that the NFL is ignoring the connection between football and brain damage. (3:40)

( LAUGHTER )THE POINT IS THERE IS NOTHING TO

WORRY ABOUT IN FOOTBALL.

HERE TO WORRY ABOUT IT ARE THEAUTHORS OF "LEAGUE OF DENIAL,"

STEVE FAINARU, AND MARKFAINARU-WADA.

GENTLEMEN, THANK YOU SO MUCH FORJOINING ME.

ALL RIGHT, GENTLEMEN.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ).

NOW, YOU GUYS HAVE RUINEDFOOTBALL.

ALL RIGHT.

ARE YOU GOING TO BE WATCHING THEGAME ON SUNDAY?

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> Stephen: OKAY, LET'S HEARYOUR ARGUMENT.

WHAT IS HAPPENING, DO YOU SAY,TO THE BRAINS OF THESE PLAYERS?

>> THE POINT OF THE BOOK WAS TOLAY OUT TWO DECADES' WORTH OF

DENIAL BY THE LEAGUE.

WHEN THEY WERE CONFRONTED WITHTHE SUGGESTION THAT, YOU KNOW,

FOOTBALL WAS POSSIBLY CAUSINGBRAIN DAMAGE, THEY WOULD SAY

IT'S NOT REALLY AN ISSUE.

WE DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH IT.

THEY CREATED THEIR OWN COMMITTEETO STUDY THIS ISSUE.

>> Stephen: YES, THEY DID D.

>> THEY APPOINTED ARHEUMATOLOGIST TO HEAD THE

COMMITTEE NOT A BRAIN PERSON.

>> Stephen: WHAT'S WRONG WITHA RHEUMATOLOGIST?

THE BRAIN IS NOTHING BUT A SKULLLIGAMENT.

( LAUGHTER )RIGHT?

HOLDS THE TWO SIDES OF THE SKULLTOGETHER, CONNECT THE TWO SIDES

OF THE SKULL.

>> THERE YOU GO.

>> Stephen: WHO SHOULD THEYHAVE BROUGHT IN?

>> WELL, AT THE TIME THERE WEREA NUMBER OF NEUROSCIENTISTS WHO

WERE ACTUALLY TRYING TO GET THELEAGUE'S ATTENTION.

SOME OF THEM ACTUALLY WORKED INTHE LEAGUE.

THEY LOVED FOOTBALL.

ONE OF THEM HAD WORKED FOR THEPITTSBURGH STEELERS.

A NEUROPATHOLOGIST AT BOSTONUNIVERSITY WAS A HUGE FOOTBALL

FAN.

AND THEY WERE TRYING TO TELL THENFL THAT THIS WAS A PROBLEM.

AND IN RESPONSE, THE NFLATTACKED THOSE PEOPLE, TRIED TO

DISCREDIT THEM.

>> Stephen: THAT'S NOTENTIRELY TRUE.

THE NFL TOOK ACTION.

THEY'VE CHANGED THE RULES.

THEY'VE CREATED THIS FUND WITH$765 MILLION TO TAKE CARE OF THE

PLAYERS' HEALTH NEEDS.

WHY ARE YOU SAYING THEY ARE INDENIAL?

>>IT'S INTERESTING.

WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE WAY THELEAGUE HAS DEALT WITH THIS OVER

TIMES, THERE IS CERTAINLY A MOVETHEY'VE MADE, BUT WHEN THE

COMMISSIONER IS ASKED, IS THEREA CONNECTION BETWEEN FOOTBALL

AND BRAIN DAMAGE, HE SAYS THESAME THING HE SAID FOUR YEARS

AGO WHEN HE GOT HAMMERED BEFORECONGRESS, WE'LL LET THE MEDICAL

PEOPLE DECIDE THAT.

THE MEDICAL PEOPLE ALREADYDECIDED THAT.

>> YOU GET YOUR MEDICAL PEOPLE,I'LL GET MY MEDICAL PEOPLE.

>> THAT'S SORT OF WHAT THEY DID.

THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT THEY DID.

>> Stephen: OKAY, ISN'T THEREA POINT AT WHICH WE MAKE THINGS

TOO SAFE?

ALL SPORT ARE DANGEROUS ON ACERTAIN LEVEL, AREN'T WE?

YOU DIDN'T SEE THE ANCIENTROMANS WORRYING ABOUT THE BRAIN

DAMAGE THE CHRISTIANS AND THELIONS, OKAY.

( LAUGHTER )SO HAVE YOU GUYS BEEN ATTACKED

BY NFL?

HAVE YOU BEEN ATTACKED BY THENFL?

BECAUSE DOCTORS WERE ATTACKED.

HAVE YOU PERSONALLY BEENATTACKED BY THE NFL?

>> WELL, THE NFL, FROM THE VERYBEGINNING, HAS NOT BEEN

COOPERATIVE WITH OUR RESEARCH.

THEY-- THEY REALLY JUST REFUSEDTO BE-- TO BE INTERVIEWED.

THERE WAS A FRONTLINEDOCUMENTARY THAT WAS MADE IN

CONJUNCTION WITH OUR BOOK.

AT THE VERY END OF TOUREMPLOYER, ESPN, PULLED OUT OF

THE PARTNERSHIP OF THATDOCUMENTARY, AND THEN IT WAS--

AND THEN NEWS CAME OUT THAT ITWAS AFTER MEETING WITH THE NFL,

THE IMPLICATION WAS THAT THEREWAS PRESSURE APPLIED BY THE NFL

TO PULL OUT OF OUT OF THEDOCUMENTARY.

SO THE NFL HAS BEEN-- YOU KNOW,THEY'VE BEEN UNCOOPERATIVE, I

WOULD SAY.

IWE'RE PROVIDING INFORMATIONTHAT THEY PROBABLY DON'T WANT

PEOPLE TO KNOW.

>> Stephen: DO YOU EVER WISHYOU HAD TAKEN ON AN ORGANIZATION

THAT IS LESS VINDICTIVE, LIKEMAYBE THE MAFIA OR TAYLOR SWIFT?

( LAUGHTER )( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

WELL, STEVE, MARK, THANK YOU SOMUCH FOR JOINING ME.

STEVE FAINARU AND MARKFAINARU-WADA.

THE BOOK IS "LEAGUE OF DENIAL."

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

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