Football

Harvard study shows conflict with NFL team doctors and players

Harvard study shows conflict with NFL team doctors and players

Harvard study shows conflict with NFL team doctors and players 2016 images

Two-Year Harvard Study Suggests NFL Team Doctors Present Conflict of Interests Harmful to Players

After two years of observations and 493 pages of findings and reports, The Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard Law School came to a simple and seemingly obvious conclusion: medical personnel on NFL teams caring for players should not report to management or the coaching staff to avoid a potentially harmful conflict of interests.

“Our report shows how the various stakeholders might work together to protect and support NFL players who give so much of themselves—not without benefit, but sometimes with serious personal consequences—to one of America’s favorite sports,” said professor of law and co-lead of ethics and law initiative of the study at Harvard Law School, Glenn Cohen. “NFL football has a storied history and holds an important place in this country. The men who play it deserve to have their health safeguarded and their health concerns addressed. We hope our recommendations in the report serve as a catalyst for this important work.”

To sum up the study and its findings, there are about 175 doctors that work with the 32 NFL franchises. These doctors report to management like any typical employee would. However, as far as football is concerned, that creates a dangerous conflict of interest. While players, management, and medical staff all have a shared interest in the health of the athletes, the study also found that players are often over-eager to get back on the field.

It takes a disciplined doctor to tell them no—especially when speaking with a star quarterback or the team’s leading tackler, and especially when the people upstairs want their leading rushing back on the field as soon as possible.

“The intersection of the club doctors’ dual obligations creates signification legal and ethical quandaries that can threaten player health,” read the report.

Among the 76 recommendations the study makes to the league to help improve player safety are an end to direct doctor-to-team communication. Instead, a written “Player Health Report” will tell the team everything they need to know about when their players will be ready to go again.

Good luck getting any of it through, though. The NFL has already sent out a 33-page response rejecting the results and calling the proposals “untenable and impractical.”

Some things will never change.

Click to add a comment
Football
@chrismaurice18

Chris covers everything NBA, NFL and NCAA with his weekly recaps, highlights and anything else he thinks you'll want to know about and more than likely things you don't want to hear about your favorite team. His take no prisoners opinion gets some fans worked up, but that's because he's almost always right.

More in Football

johnny manziel pushing for falcons vs patriots in super bowl 51 2017 images

Johnny Manziel pushing for Falcons vs Patriots in Super Bowl 51

Chris MauriceJanuary 19, 2017
Steelers Antonio Brown still in doghouse with Mike Tomlin 2017 images

Steelers Antonio Brown still in doghouse with Mike Tomlin

Chris MauriceJanuary 18, 2017
Super Bowl 51 Predictions in a game of Inches 2017 images

Super Bowl 51 Predictions in a game of Inches

Shane MclendonJanuary 18, 2017
aaron rodgers keeps packing it for green bay 2017 images

Aaron Rodgers keeps packing it for Green Bay

Luka AlarioJanuary 17, 2017
aaron hernandez tattoos may work against him at murder trial 2017 images

Aaron Hernandez tattoos may work against him at murder trial

Luka AlarioJanuary 17, 2017
fear aaron rodgers and what hes packing 2017 images

Fear Aaron Rodgers and what he’s Packing

Shane MclendonJanuary 17, 2017
NFL Stars Take a Massive Pay Cut when They Make the Playoffs 2017 images

NFL Stars Take a Massive Pay Cut when They Make the Playoffs

Chris MauriceJanuary 15, 2017
doug marrone and tom coughlin move to jackson jaguars 2017 images

Doug Marrone and Tom Coughlin move to Jacksonville Jaguars

Chris MauriceJanuary 15, 2017
steelers leveon bell channels steph curry on field 2017 images

Stellers Le’Veon Bell channels Steph Curry on field

Chris MauriceJanuary 15, 2017

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

You will only receive one per day. You'll also get a free THE WALKING DEAD graphic novel with your subscription