NFL Ends Partnership With NIH Over Concussion Study

The football league cut ties with the health institute after a 'bitter dispute.'

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The National Football League and the National Institutes of Health are ending their partnership over a “bitter dispute,” according to ESPN.

“The NFL backed out of a major study that had been awarded to a researcher who had been critical of the league,” according to Bleacher Report. The NFL previously pledged a reported $30 million to research the connection between football and brain disease, with the caveat that they would not attempt to influence how the money could be spent. Instead, the NFL backed out of the study they agreed to foot the bill for, deferring the cost to taxpayers, according to Sports Illustrated.

“The NFL’s agreement with [the funding arm of the NIH] ends August 31, 2017, and there are no current research plans for the funds remaining from the original $30 million NFL commitment,” the NIH said in a statement, per ESPN. “NIH is currently funding concussion research directly.

The NFL still hasn’t contributed $18 million of the initial amount they pledged in 2012, according to the Washington Post, though they reportedly stated this week that they’re “engaged in constructive discussions” with the NIH in how to spend the remaining pledged dollars.

The news comes just days after a medical study was published showing that chronic traumatic encephalopathy, known as CTE, was found in the brains of 110 of 111 deceased former NFL players.

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