The executive vice president of the Nation Football League, Jeff Pash, spoke with Chuck Todd on Sunday’s Meet the Press and declared that football is far less dangerous than it once was.
“I think the game is safer than it has ever been,” Pash said. “And the progress that’s being made means it is going to be safer in the future.”
Pash pointed to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s tenure as making that progress possible through requiring better equipment, teaching “safer tackling techniques,” and offering better medical care to the players by providing them access to neurotrauma consultants.
Although he pointed to the progress being made, Pash said there’s more work to do:
Helmet-to-helmet collisions, which have been the biggest cause of concussions in the past, that helmet-to-helmet contact is down by more than 40 percent. So, we’re definitely making progress, but there is more work to be done and we want to work with the players and the coaches to continue that culture change and foster that culture of safety.
Pash also commented on youth football programs and the importance of instituting the same rigorous safety standards there as well. He said that the NFL has already been implementing safety programs based on its own research across the nation’s youth football leagues in order to help limit injuries among younger players. Pash expects those programs to double in the upcoming year. However, he would not say whether or not tackle football should be reserved for those that are 12 years old or older.