Inside the NFL’s Concussion Crisis – Live Chat Transcript

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October 8, 2013
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Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) gets hit by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen, left, after passing the ball during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Minneapolis. Griffen was called for a personal foul on the play. (AP Photo/Genevieve Ross) (AP Photo/Genevieve Ross)

The NFL is facing a crisis: A growing number of scientists and thousands of former players are drawing a link between the violent collisions at the heart of the game and an alarming incidence of early-onset dementia and catastrophic brain damage.

The league recently agreed to settle a lawsuit by 4,200 former players who claimed football led to brain damage — but questions about the link aren’t going away any time soon. They may threaten the very future of the game.

In League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis, ESPN journalists Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada investigate how, for years, the NFL fought to dispel those questions by attacking scientific evidence and the researchers who uncovered it.

What did the NFL know about brain injuries, and when did they know it? What’s the truth about the risks to players? What can be done? Is the sport inherently unsafe?

We’ve asked Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada, producer Mike Wiser, and Mike Webster’s son Garrett Webster, to join us in a live chat to answer those questions — and take yours. Garrett is the administrator and player liaison for the Brain Injury Research Institute.

They’ll be joined by special guest questioner Richard Deitsch, a reporter for Sports Illustrated.

You can leave a question in the chat window below, and come by at 1 p.m. ET on Oct. 9 to join the live discussion.

We’d like to thank Sports Illustrated for partnering with us on today’s chat.

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