On the day the NFL kicks off a new season, the league made its largest donation to date, giving $30 million to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.
The donation was made to fund medical research, specifically toward brain injuries.
The NIH with administer the research designed to benefit athletes and the general population, including the military, which the league has taken a closer working role with.
According to the league’s release, the specific plans are being developed, but the research will focus on “chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE); concussion management and treatment; and the understanding of the potential relationship between traumatic brain injury and late-life neurodegenerative disorders, especially Alzheimer’s disease.”
They will also look at other athletics-related health issues, such as cardiac problems, heat and hydration issues, and chronic degenerative joint problems and “the detection and health effects of performance enhancing substances, including human growth hormone.”
“We hope this grant will help accelerate the medical community’s pursuit of pioneering research to enhance the health of athletes past, present and future,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in the release. “This research will extend beyond the NFL playing field and benefit athletes at all levels and others, including members of our military.”
It’s a generous gift, and to be applauded, even as it comes at a time when the league is being sued for its inattention to head injuries by more than 3,000 former players.