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NFL issues even longer statement in response to New York Times article

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When NFL V.P. of communications Brian McCarthy forwarded to PFT the NFL’s statement in response to the New York Times article that included a one-two punch of exposing flaws in the league’s 1996-2001 concussion research and making a series of superficial connections between the NFL and big tobacco, McCarthy said, “We will have a lengthier rebuttal this afternoon.”

At first glance, I thought McCarthy was being sarcastic, because the first statement was one of the longest statements the NFL ever has issued in response to any report from any media outlet. But a second, even longer statement has indeed been issued, with the NFL laying out a clear, point-by-point, Wells-Report-in-Context-style rebuttal to every allegation the Times article made.

PFT posted the full content of the first statement. The second statement can be seen here.

As a practical matter, few will have the inclination or the ability to read either or both of the statements. And the NFL surely knows this.

So why take the time to write not one but two careful and detailed responses? Perhaps the league is simply frustrated by constantly being under assault for its handling of the concussion situation. Maybe the NFL realizes that tales of potentially falsified research can catch the eye of a prosecutor looking to launch a political career by putting the NFL’s pelt on the wall. Maybe the league wrote all those words to help persuade the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to uphold the pending concussion settlement.

Whatever the reason(s), the powers-that-be at 345 Park Avenue surely realize that few if any football fans will be reading and heeding the many words that have been strung together in an effort to push back against any article to which the NFL arguably has given far more credence by responding to it so aggressively. Then again, ardent football fans don’t really care about this issue.

The intended audience for these statement primarily consist of those have the desire to do serious damage to the interests of the league — and those who have the power to do so.

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20 Responses to “NFL issues even longer statement in response to New York Times article”
  1. jag1959 says: Mar 24, 2016 5:02 PM

    The irony here is delicious.

  2. 4rings4brady says: Mar 24, 2016 5:06 PM

    The nfl always wants to control the narrative. Thats why they are so quick in correcting what they feel is erroneous in media reports that run counter to what they say or think. The inflation levels in deflate gate speak to this. They were never corrected ny the league office because it was in favor of the narrative they wanted out in the press. The concussion report in the NY Times does not, hence the quick and overwhelming response. The judges in the Brady appeal should take note of this policy.

  3. forthegoodofthegame says: Mar 24, 2016 5:07 PM

    People stopped believing the NFL league office a long time ago. Maybe this type of response from the NFL is in relation to their long pattern of false communications and the recent $120M “impropriety”. The NFL league office has apparently realized they need to clean up their act (even if it is only to prevent anyone from knowing the extent of their improprieties).

  4. sportnik2 says: Mar 24, 2016 5:08 PM

    Goodell is no different than a mob boss, willing to destroy lives to maximize the profits of his organization.

    The NFL exists only to suck as much TV revenue as possible from the national networks. They could care less if the brains of thousands of young Americans need to be sacrificed in order for them to generate enough revenue to pay Goodell’s $45M annual salary..

  5. kindbass says: Mar 24, 2016 5:12 PM

    I am so done contributing to the success of this league. From now on, all my NFL viewing will be done through illegal online streams.

  6. sonhoodoo says: Mar 24, 2016 5:16 PM

    I don’t find the NFL to be a credible witness.

  7. Kingmj4891 says: Mar 24, 2016 5:19 PM

    New York Times is trash.

  8. churchofthehoody says: Mar 24, 2016 5:27 PM

    its more probable than not the nfl is full of feces

  9. churchofthehoody says: Mar 24, 2016 5:29 PM

    Its time to get the justice department involved this level of corruption cant go unchecked

    If the owners had any brains they’d flush all the park avenue boys starting with Roge

  10. Don Humphrey says: Mar 24, 2016 5:29 PM

    NFL Offices – zero credibility

  11. deweygroup says: Mar 24, 2016 5:58 PM

    I really wish more of the mainstream media would dig in and objectively report on the corruption of the NFL. Unfortunately they have already been bought and paid for.

  12. weepingjebus says: Mar 24, 2016 6:04 PM

    I heard that 11 out of 12 NFL concussion studies were underinflated.

  13. carnegiemellonisafruitstand says: Mar 24, 2016 6:09 PM

    The League doth protest too much, methinks.

  14. 6ball says: Mar 24, 2016 6:12 PM

    Whenever it’s the NFL vs someone else. I always go with the someone else.

  15. rjpats says: Mar 24, 2016 6:34 PM

    It doesn’t matter what the truth is. An accusation has been levied and that’s all that matters. More probable than not that the NFL is guilty.

  16. rocketmcstonebreaker says: Mar 24, 2016 7:33 PM

    Fire Goodell.

  17. youknowiknowitall says: Mar 24, 2016 7:59 PM

    It’s more probable than not that we are all generally aware that where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

  18. cinzano08 says: Mar 24, 2016 8:27 PM

    Nfl defense is not plausible. NFL had a scheme to conspire and not be liable for concussions when the scientific community says otherwise. Sound familiar?

  19. Iron Mike says: Mar 24, 2016 9:04 PM

    Clearly the NFL d.b. owners and Exponent are anti-science or at least willing to check everyone’s brains at the door in the name of greed. Second -hand smoking doesn’t cause cancer, concussions don’t cause CTE, and weather has no impact on a football’s PSI. Yeah that “integrity of the game” seems legit.

  20. boston444 says: Mar 25, 2016 12:16 PM

    Funny how quick the league is to respond when they’re the ones having “false information” spread about them. God forbid they respond when one of their 32 franchises is being constantly slandered by the biggest sports media outlet though…

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