Millions of Americans will sit down today to watch special NFL Thanksgiving day games. The safety of the players may not be at the top of their minds, but should it be? At a recent roundtable discussion we looked at the problem of concussions and other safety concerns in football at all levels, from Pee Wee to professional. We spoke with NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith about his concerns and the role of the NFL in setting an example for younger players and fans:
Other featured speakers at the discussion, which Aspen Institute Sports & Society director and ESPN reporter Tom Farrey moderated, included Dr. Robert Cantu, co-director of Boston University’s Center for the Study of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy; Scott Hallenbeck, executive director, USA Football; Chris Nowinski, executive director, Sports Legacy Institute; Mike Wise, Washington Post columnist; Jon Butler, executive director, Pop Warner Little Scholars; Jeff Miller, senior vice president, NFL; and Eddie Mason, former NFL linebacker.