Brent Boyd: Meanwhile Back at the NFL PR Ranch

Oct 22, 2010

We understand that this past Wednesday evening, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was given an Impact Award at the Sports Legacy Institute‘s Third Annual Impact Awards held in Boston MA. SLI has been involved with Boston University in the forensic study of the long-term effects of concussions on athletes’ brains. Many players have already pledged their brains to the Institute for study after they die. The award was to “recognize the NFL’s new advocacy and educational programs on youth sports concussions.” Of course, a year earlier, the NFL had donated $1 million to the Sports Legacy Institute Boston University School of Medicine’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy.

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Brent Boyd is a Director on the Board of SLI and was also in attendance at the event so he’s providing us his observations from the event.

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Meanwhile at the same time in another part of the country, Brent’s lawyers were still fighting the NFL’s lawyers for access to his full disability benefits. And once again, the NFL attorneys continue to declare there was no conclusive evidence that concussions caused headaches or brain damage.

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Here’s Brent’s coverage on the SLI Dinner, along with an update on his court battle:

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As an early Director on the Board of The Sports Legacy Institute, I was invited to attend their Third Annual Impact Dinner & Awards, held in Boston MA. After a series of speakers, Kyle Turley was to sing one song, then a quick 3-item auction and it was Goodell’s turn to get his award for giving $1million to SLI BU (to avoid paying how many more millions for rightfully-earned benefits?).

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Kyle Turley sang an awesome solo string song, paying tribute to the NFL players/retirees who have DIED just in the past few years due to concussion-related symptoms. Kyle is doing a documentary and had videographers there tonight to capture the moment.

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While he played, a huge video screen behind him showed – one by one – pictures of the men who died, the years they played, the years born/died, etc. — it was like a funeral, or a 9/11 memorial – or more accurately – like showing a couple dozen of our military after they were killed.

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Goodell, standing up front and to the side, partly hidden by a post, at this point DELIBERATELY TURNED HIS BACK, IGNORED/NEVER LOOKED AT THE VIDEO and did not applaud at end of a very good and emotional song/video! And I’m not the only one who noticed this.

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Best thing – the whole event was captured on video! Goodell was next to Pats’ owner Robert Kraft; I’m not sure I could see what Kraft was doing.

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Goodell TURNED HIS BACK rather than watch the video of men who died under his watch.

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Meanwhile, my attorneys were in another hearing for my disability benefits appeal with NFL lawyers earlier this week in Baltimore (they were sparring over discovery). The irony of all of this is that their lawyers were sticking to the proposition that concussions do NOT lead to severe headaches and long-term brain damage. So I’m going to add my own couple of pieces of irony here. The first set of documents below is from 2001 in which the NFL’s Dr. Barry Gordon basically concludes that my disabilities (skip to last page of his summary) “could not be caused by organic head injury” from my football career. Compare and contrast this to his 1990 published medical research saying my same symptoms ARE MOST COMMON FOR CONCUSSIONS! Yep – Those same four symptoms of mine are listed in the first paragraph and the accompanying graph of his own earlier study as the most common symptoms of post-concussion! His opinion IS – and has been – THE ONLY DISSENTING OPINION EVER SINCE WE STARTED IN 1999. So the second document are pages from that medical textbook – published in 1990 – titled Current Therapy in Neurologic Disease from the very same Dr. Gordon who denied me after admitting that he never even bothered to look at my existing brain scans nor taking any of his own!

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We’ve uploaded the documents to Scribd for easier reading. Click on the FULL SCREEN button to enlarge it for easier navigation – hit the ESC key to close. You can also click the DOWNLOAD button to save a PDF copy for printing and reading later.
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Dr. Barry Gordon NFL Report

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Dr. Barry Gordon 1990 Concussion Study
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Brent Boyd

Minnesota Vikings

1980 – 1986

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And Kyle’s Facebook message after his performance (Click to enlarge):

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Kyle performing Final Drive from an earlier studio performance:
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And into the Mainstream Media

The noise on the NFL’s hypocrisy just continues to get louder and louder from all quarters. Here’s a new video clip from ESPN with Mark Schlereth - never a guy to hold back – sounding off to Josh Elliott on the NFL suspending players for dangerous hits (click on the picture to play):

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3 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. John Hogan
    October 22nd, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    John Hogan
    I have just been contacted by a 40-year old vested player who has been out of the League for 14 years. He was just turned down for NFL disability based upon the opinion of one of the Plan’s “neutral” physicians. It is clear to me that this man is, in fact, disabled; but that the standard report and questionnaire completed by this doctor are too incomplete to make a determination whether he would be capable of performing any full-time work.

    The report indicates that he has the following severe impairments, which are all football-related: lumbar spine, both knees and ankles; right great toe (because of turf toe he can’t wear regular shoes); his right shoulder and right thumb and wrist.

    The doctor thinks this player can perform the following work: “Light level of physical demand with accommodations to avoid repetitive squatting, kneeling or prolonged standing.”

    OK, what’s the problem? Here they are:

    “Light” work as defined by the U.S. Department of Labor would generally require a person to be able to walk and stand at least 6 hours in an 8 hour day. Therefore, if he can’t perform prolonged standing, he can’t perform “light” work. In my experience when a person is so limited, they also need frequent rest breaks, and have “good and bad days” which would require them to leave work early, or not be able to work at all. If a person does not have transferable work skills they can put to use in a job that could be performed with these limitations, any decent vocational (job) specialist will tell you that if they miss more than 2 days of work per month, it becomes impossible to properly sustain their job requirements. Oh, that’s right – the Plan doesn’t use vocational experts!

    Next, as this doc found that the player had impairment to his right arm, wrist and thumb (he is right-handed) surely he would be expected to have limitations on his ability to push, pull, lift, grasp, finger, feel, etc. but his report does not set forth any such limitations. If the good folks at NFL Player Benefits were to properly fulfill their fiduciary duty and properly exercise the skill and care that is required in their positions, they would write back to the doctor and say something like, “We notice that he has impairments to his shoulder, wrist and thumb – does he have any work-related limitations as a result?” Oh, I guess they only write back to a doctor for more information when he says that the players IS totally disabled. And of course, it is the ultimate “no-no” for a player’s attorney to contact these doctors to obtain such information.

    This case is rather typical of those I see. The Plan doctors are not providing enough information to make a proper determination of whether the player can actually sustain full-time work. The Plan does not follow up to get more information as they should. One of the most best examples of this was Dave Pear’s neutral exam where the doctor said that in spite of an 80% impairment to his spine, he could still work. The Plan should have questioned this, obtain some more explicit limitations and posed them in reference to a full 8-hour work day, and then sent them to a qualified vocational specialist. If they had, Dave’s case surely would have been granted and perhaps his spine might have actually been spared some of its multiple surgeries! There are surely many guys out there who are in fact totally disabled if Plan adjudication had been done properly.

    John V. Hogan
    Disability Attorney & Advocate

  2. George Visger
    October 22nd, 2010 at 5:29 pm #

    George Visger
    Goodell should be held criminally liable for the early death and destruction of so many ex-players and their families. He didn’t have the male organs to watch and acknowledge, just like big tobacco refused to acknowledge their product kills.

    Goodell should be tied to a chair and forced to watch that video with all the surviving family members, then answer their questions.

    SLI is whoring themselves out to the very group they supposedly discovered was killing its employees with CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy). Those of us in the know, realize it was Dr. Bennett Omalu’s studies which brought this travesty to light.

    I was one of SLI’s NFL “Brain Donors” until I smelled a rat and demanded my name be removed from their registry and have since donated what’s left of my brain to Dr Omalu’s group.

    I have been told I’m living on borrowed time, as how many brain surgeries is one expected to survive?

    Roger, I offer you a personal invitation to my funeral if my NFL-CAUSED traumatic brain injury ultimately causes my doom. I am asking former players and friends to sit by you to ensure you don’t turn your back again.

    George Visger
    Brain-Damaged Wildlife Biologist/Motivational Speaker

    San Francisco 49ers 1980 & 1981
    Survivor of 9 NFL-Caused Emergency VP Shunt Brain Surgeries
    Benefactor of ZERO NFL Benefits

  3. Tweets that mention Brent Boyd: Meanwhile Back at the NFL PR Ranch - Dave Pear's Blog -- Topsy.com
    October 24th, 2010 at 6:32 am #

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by RobertinSeattle, NFL Alumni Houston. NFL Alumni Houston said: http://davepear.com/blog/2010/10/meanwhile-back-at-the-nfl-pr-ranch/ […]