The NFL has pledged $30 million for medical research to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.
Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Wednesday the donation to the foundation, which helps raise private funding for the NIH, the nation's leading medical research agency.
The research is designed to benefit athletes and the general population, including members of the military, Goodell said.
Potential areas of research under the grant include the brain, specifically chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), concussion management and treatment, and the understanding of the relationship between traumatic brain injury and late-life neurodegenerative disorders, especially Alzheimer's disease.
"We hope this grant will help accelerate the medical community's pursuit of pioneering research to enhance the health of athletes past, present and future," Goodell said.
The players union released a statement commending the donation.
"The players applaud the NFL's decision to independently fund a research partnership between the NFL and National Institutes of Health," the NFLPA said in a statement. "We look forward to reviewing their findings."
Dr. Stephanie James, acting executive director of the Foundation for the NIH, expects the grant have a positive effect on people in all walks of life.
"We are grateful for the NFL's generosity," James said. "The research to be funded by this donation will accelerate scientific discovery that will benefit athletes and the general public alike."
The distribution of funds from the grant will be governed by federal law and policy applicable to NIH-funded research. The NFL will have no early or special access to scientific study data.