Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones raised eyebrows, not to mention hackles, when he denied there is evidence of a link between playing football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy in March at the NFL owners meetings.
But now he’s got the attention of PolitiFact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking website that is a project of the Tampa Bay Times.
The watchdogs recently rated Jones’ statement regarding the link between CTE and football patently, indisputably false. As in “Pants On Fire!”
“We don’t have that knowledge and background and scientifically, so there’s no way in the world to say you have a relationship relative to anything here,” Jones said March 23, according to a Washington Post article. “There’s no research. There’s no data…. We’re not disagreeing. We’re just basically saying the same thing. We’re doing a lot more. It’s the kind of thing that you want to work… to prevent injury. A big part of this is prevention. But the other part of it is to basically understand that we don’t know or have any idea that there is a consequence as to any type of head injury in the future.”
That’s Jerryspeak for “No link.”
NFL vice president for health and safety Jeff Miller acknowledged at a congressional hearing on March 14 that there is a link between CTE and football.
PolitiFact, which normally rates the accuracy of statements in the political realm on a scale ranging from “True”, “Mostly True”, “Half True”, “Mostly False”, “False” to “Pants On Fire!” ventured into the world of sports and neurodegenerative brain diseases in the case of Jones’ comments.
“Jones said it’s ‘absurd’ to say there’s enough data to establish a link between playing football and CTE.
“In fact, scientists have reached consensus establishing this link, though research remains to be done on the degree to which football players and others involved in high-contact activities risk CTE.
“We find Jones’s ‘absurd’ claim absurd. Pants on Fire!”