Recent comments by a couple of NFL owners downplaying the significance of brain injuries to football players don't sit well with NFLPA president Eric Winston.
The recently re-elected Winston, who plays offensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals, says he was "offended" by the comments made by the likes of Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in recent weeks.
During an interview on NBC Radio's "PFT Live," Winston responded to the recent headlines around the NFL, CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) and brain trauma in football.
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A quick recap before his comments:
Irsay told the Sports Business Journal, among other things, "I believe this: that the game has always been a risk. Look at it. You take an aspirin, I take an aspirin, it might give you extreme side effects of illness and your body ... may reject it, where I would be fine. So there is so much we don't know."
Jones told The Washington Post: "We don't have that knowledge and background and scientifically, so there's no way in the world to say you have a relationship relative to anything here. There's no research. There's no data. ... We're not disagreeing. We're just basically saying the same thing. We're doing a lot more. It's the kind of thing that you want to work ... to prevent injury. A big part of this is prevention. But the other part of it is to basically understand that we don't know or have any idea that there is a consequence as to any type of head injury in the future.
Here's more on those comments and others made by NFL owners about head trauma and football.
These comments came on the heels of the NFL's own Jeff Miller publicly admitting a link between football and CTE for the first time.
Here's what Winston had to say about the comments, per PFT:
"I think like [NFL executive V.P. of player health and safety] Jeff Miller said, I think we think there's a link [between football and Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy]," Winston said. "Now what does that link mean? The one thing that we've always stood for and the one thing we will continue to stand for is the science. Where is the science telling us to go, what's the science telling us to do and how can we help move that science along? . . . We're going to keep pushing that, we're going to keep pushing those boundaries. Not just in prevention, not just in treatments but also, 'OK, what is it and what exactly is it doing and how is it affecting us?' And I think that's important.
"But I also think it's important to outline just some of the ridiculous comments that were made. I was offended personally by some of these owners' comments. You know, just take an aspirin or that football isn't that dangerous or this and that. I mean, obviously, we know some of the risk going into it. We understand that it's a contact sport, and we're doing everything we can to make it as safe as possible but some of the flipping comments that were made from the owners were, like I said, rather offensive and kind of tarnish I think what we're trying to do in this health and safety phase."
(h/t to PFT)