With the much-anticipated movie “Concussion” ready for release on Christmas Day, NFL officials and stakeholders are making their case for a more positive narrative than the film’s depiction of a craven organization ready to do what it must to protect the brutal sport behind its brand. Some of that involves an acknowledgment of past failure; some of it involves emphasizing the strides the league has made — and continues to make. The league has implemented 39 rule changes to protect players’ health and safety.
Green Bay Packers President Mark Murphy acknowledged: “We had allowed a culture, the game, to evolve to where the helmet was being used as a weapon. I think the rules we have instituted over the last five to 10 years have really been effective. You don’t see players using helmets the way they used to. Players used to talk about kill shots — I want to knock somebody out. That’s been taken out of the game. You’re going to minimize the risk and make the game as safe as possible, but there are certain risks in everything we do,” he said. “The risks are something that get a lot of media, but I would encourage parents to also look at the rewards — the values that come from participation in all sports.”