The NFL has been compared in congressional hearings to the tobacco industry for its insistence that concussions, like tobacco, aren’t bad for you. My colleague, Jack Marshall has gone so far as to write, harshly but sensibly, that even watching NFL games is unethical.
Now the league is finally starting to take seriously the problem of players returning to action too soon after suffering concussions. Today’s New York Times reports that the NFL will require players who have suffered head injuries to be cleared by an independent neurologist before returning to play. It’s not a complete solution, but it’s an important second step. (The first step was recognizing the league’s own responsibility for the situation.) Perhaps colleges and high schools will begin to do the same.