The National Football League is looking to create a better helmet and help fund technologies that will reduce concussions, Commissioner Roger Goodell said.
As the NFL’s regular season kicks off today, the league, along with General Electric Co. and Under Armour Inc., has started the second phase of its Head Health Challenge, a $10 million initiative to find and support products that can help diagnose and protect against traumatic brain injury.
“We need to do more to protect people from concussions,” Goodell said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “To do that we have joined together to find more protective headgear. We believe that innovation and technology can do that, that’s why we’re joining forces.”
The NFL last week reached a $765 million settlement with former players over brain trauma, with funds going to concussion-related compensation, medical exams and research.
As part of its Head Health Challenge, the NFL, Under Armour and GE will award as much as $10 million for technologies, system designs or materials that can quantify head impacts in real time, detect or monitor indicators of traumatic brain injury, protect the brain, and help to prevent or mitigate long-and short-term consequences of head trauma.
In addition to helping NFL players and athletes in other sports, the development of technologies under this program will benefit the military and civilians, Goodell said.
“That’s what we’re doing together, pioneering research,” Goodell said. “We believe this will have short-term outcomes, but we also have to continue to look at the long term, because there’s a lot we don’t know about the brain. We’re going to invest in that and try to make changes. That’s going to be good well beyond sports fields.”
The NFL regular season begins tonight with the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens at the Denver Broncos.