Dec. 19, 2012 NFL health and safety update:
NFL committee leaders convene on health matters during special league meeting
Leaders of the NFL Competition Committee, the Owners Committee on Health and Safety, and the Head, Neck and Spine Committee met together for the first time during last week’s Special League Meeting in Dallas, Texas. Rich McKay (Falcons CEO & President), Dr. John YorK (49ers Co-Chairman) and Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, respectively, reviewed the first 14 weeks of the season and discussed opportunities to further promote player health and safety, as well as competition, in future years.
“Rules make a difference,” said Dr. Ellenbogen, who recently attended the Concussion in Sport 4th International Concussion Consensus Conference with Dr. York in Zurich, Switzerland on behalf of the NFL. “You can make a sport safer by making rules that make sense, make the game fun and interesting, and at the same time, lower the concussion rate.”
McKay, who with the Competition Committee and NFL Players Association will soon formulate preliminary rule proposals for 2013, echoed Dr. Ellenbogen’s sentiments. McKay emphasized recently enhanced protections for defenseless players.
“If you look at the way those hits were made five years ago versus today, you will see a change,” McKay said. “You will see the target lowered. You will see more guys hitting in here [the chest] and you will see fewer guys hitting up here [references head and neck area]. That is what we have wanted and that is what we get.”
Dr. York discussed the ways rule changes have improved protections for both offensive and defensive players.
Nike also presented at the Dallas meetings, displaying new thigh and hips pads that will be mandatory for players starting in the 2013 season.
For the complete transcript of the press conference held by McKay, Dr. York, and Dr. Ellenbogen, click here.
NFL Foundation launches with focus on health and safety, community health
Last week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the creation of the National Football League Foundation. The organization is committed to making a difference in the lives of those touched by the game of football — from the players at all levels to our broader communities.
The new NFL Foundation will focus on improving the health and safety of athletes, funding community health initiatives, supporting youth football, and giving back to the community. It will award more than $23 million in grants in 2013.
The news follows a change in the structure of the NFL’s charitable entities from two organizations — NFL Charities and NFL Youth Football Fund — to one foundation. The move allows the NFL to devote more resources to giving back.
The NFL Foundation is led by a group of service-minded individuals who will help to ensure that the NFL continues its tradition of philanthropy. The board members are:
- Charlotte Jones Anderson, executive vice president/vice president of brand management/ president of the charity foundation for the Dallas Cowboys
- Michael J. Bidwill, president of the Arizona Cardinals
- Shahid Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars
- Mary Owen, executive vice president of strategic planning for the Buffalo Bills
- Mike Reinfeldt, senior executive vice president/chief operating officer for the Tennessee Titans
- Arthur Rooney II, president of the Pittsburgh Steelers; and
- Leonard Wilf, Owner/Vice Chairman of the Minnesota Vikings
To read the full announcement, click here.
– NFL Communications