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Insurance Companies Are a Problem for NFL

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Referee John Hussey checks on Texans quarterback Tom Savage following a hard hit during the 2nd quarter against the 49ers on Dec. 10, 2017. Photo: Kevin M. Cox / AP

By Evan Weiner |

The National Football League’s 2019-2020 season officially starts in a month, on March 13. But the league and officials at every other level of the football industry have to take a deep look into the future of the business of football regardless of the calendar.

Insurance companies are beginning to back away from the football industry. This should surprise no one.  Football insurance costs have been going up because of concussions and permanent brain injuries. Football industry leaders have been going out of their way to deny there is a link between concussions suffered while practicing or playing the game and permanent brain injuries.

What may be troubling for National Football League owners, college football programs, high school programs and even Pop Warner programs is just how the insurance market has dried up.  Carriers are hard to come by. The insurance problem is not limited to just football. Hockey and soccer may be having problems as well finding insurance carriers.

The insurance problem has impacted a number of football programs. The Maricopa County Community Colleges, in the Phoenix metropolitan area, has shut down school football teams in Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix and Scottsdale.  People know there is a problem. The United States Department of Defense is sending millions of dollars of funding to the NCAA to expand college and university research studying the movements of about 40,000 college students at both military and nonmilitary schools. DOD and the NCAA want to know more about the long term impact of repeated blows to the head during sports activities. Those chosen for the research will be monitored for four years after they played their last college game and the study is not limited to football players. 

The NFL’s hierarchy has been playing down the impact of CTE on player’s lives. The Department of Defense may give them an answer and the football industry may not want to know.

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.

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