As part of their response to the Wells Report, the Patriots included a rebuttal of scientific evidence from the report by Professor Roderick MacKinnon of the Rockefeller University.
MacKinnon, a 2003 Nobel laureate in chemistry, criticizes the key findings in the Wells Report and writes that the “conclusion that physical law cannot explain the pressures is incorrect.” In the original introduction to his work, MacKinnon is described as someone with “no business or personal relationship with the Patriots” who “offered his scientific expertise to the team” once news of the investigation went public.
MacKinnon may not have a relationship with the Patriots, but, as Noah Gray of Nature magazine pointed out on Thursday afternoon, he has one with the team’s owners. MacKinnon is the “scientific co-founder” and co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of a company called Flex Pharma that counts The Kraft Group among its investors.
Elsewhere in their response to the report, the Patriots raise the issue of the longstanding relationship between the NFL and Wells’ law firm Paul Weiss. They suggest that it would have been “appropriate” to be clearer about the nature of that relationship in a report that found no fault with the way the league handled the matter.
“Such disclosures would help the public better assess the findings regarding League conduct, of which there is not a single critical comment or single suggestion for improvement in the report. No one should take calls for such disclosure personally.”
It seems the same could be said of the Patriots’ level of disclosure when it comes to MacKinnon, something they acknowledged by updating their introduction to reflect the Kraft Group’s “passive investment” in Flex Pharma as part of a “syndicated investment group.”