Dallas Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said a recently released congressional report accusing the NFL of using donations to influence a government-backed study on football injuries and brain disease is not accurate and unfounded.
“I just think that it’s unfortunate,” Jones said Thursday. “I don’t think it was founded. I think it was not accurate. I think the league is obviously going to do their job in terms of showing that it was inaccurate.”
The House Energy and Commerce Democrats on Monday released a 91-page report, claiming that NFL officials tried to quietly persuade the National Institutes of Health to pull a $16 million research grant for Dr. Robert Stern, who has been critical of the league.
“While the NFL had been publicly proclaiming its role as funder and accelerator of important research, it was privately attempting to influence that research,” the lawmakers concluded in the report.
“Certainly our players are important to us,” Jones said. “There’s over 70-something rule changes, something we didn’t start on yesterday. We’ve been doing this for 10 years trying to make the game safer for our players in terms of when they go out on the field, there’s certainly at the end of the day they’re at the center of the game, which is what makes our league is the game. And we have to protect our players. We have to continue to work to make the game better so that it’s a safer game. And we’ll continue to do that.”