In September, the Army and the NFL announced a long-term initiative to inform and educate Soldiers and players about traumatic brain injuries. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Raymond Odierno, kicked off the effort at West Point. Since the kickoff, the commissioner and chief of staff have joined panels of Soldiers, players, and health professionals to talk about how we have and will continue to tackle the challenges associated with TBI – namely prevention and reporting.
Recently, Commissioner Goodell addressed the issue of TBI and the NFL/Army partnership during a Detroit Lions event:
“It is all about long-term change. What we have seen is we have some similar issues. We are sharing what we know about head trauma, they are sharing with us what they know about head trauma and actually, our return to the field issues have been used in return to the battlefield. Those protocols have been helpful to both parties. In addition, it is research and focus, but a lot of what you’re referring to in that program is about culture change. It is about trying to combat the warrior mentality, which is you want to be on the battlefield or you want to be on the field but you need to be healthy and you need to identify when you have an injury or your teammate or a soldier has to identify it so you can get proper medical care. That’s what we stress: Take precautions and make sure you identify yourself or others that who have had this injury. That’s what hopefully our partnership with the Army is going to help do for our soldiers and our players.”
- Roger Goodell