The endeavor is a research initiative that will study 1,000 retired NFL players aimed at treating and ultimately preventing the large scope of health problems plaguing football players and athletes.
Smith also identified three key initiatives that he hopes to implement into the CBA as early as next year, and said he’s prepared to file grievances to get them.
First, the union wants an independent concussion expert that isn’t paid by either side on every sideline to help identify symptoms of concussions and have the final say on whether a player can return to the field or not.
The league agreed in their press conference Thursday and this is likely to happen in 2013.
Second, the union wants to put in place a system that properly credentials team medical personnel and its training staff so the union knows their backgrounds.
Smith used the example of San Diego Chargers team doctor, David Chao, who lost a medical malpractice suit in 2012, but is still the team’s doctor.
Third, Smith and the union are against the practice of teams asking players to sign medical waiver before taking toradol, a painkiller used by athletes.
After the press conference, Smith was asked specifically about Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best and Best’s comments before last season that he’s the “poster child” for the new NFL that looks at concussions in an entirely different light from just a few years ago.
Best hasn’t been cleared to play in more than a year since suffering a concussion in October of 2011.
“I don’t comment on any particular cases,” Smith said. “We look at all of them.
“But the last thing I will say, and this is just me, I don’t believe in the term “poster child.” Every one of our cases is different. I make sure, and we make sure, that we treat every case individually and we try to get it right.”
Tags: Jahvid Best
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 9 Comments »