WASHINGTON, D.C. - Discussion of concussions has become as much a part of football as fans tailgating but the latest news is nothing to cheer about. It deals with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.
On Tuesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee released a report titled The National Football League's Attempt to Influence Funding Decisions at the National Institutes of Health. The 91-page document accuses the NFL of trying to influence the NIH's research on the brain disease known as CTE.
The NFL was supposed to provide $16 million in funding to the NIH to research the issue, but when the league questioned the selection of the primary researcher, the NIH decided to use taxpayer money to fund the study instead.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the report Tuesday, “We have our commitment of $30 million to the NIH. We're not pulling that back one bit. We continue to focus on things our advisors believe are important to study.”
But as the NFL's struggles with CTE continues it appears another sport's ordeal with it is just beginning.
On Wednesday, Dave Mirra's widow revealed to ESPN The Magazine that the BMX legend suffered from CTE when he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound back in February. The doctor who examined Mirra's brain says there was no difference between his brain and those of former football and hockey players she had examined.
Mirra is the first action sports athlete to be diagnosed with CTE.
A chilling example that shows this issue is bigger than just football.