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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 13, 2015 5:00am-7:01am EDT

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not have justified in rational terms but it seemed like there was something wrong, something malignant that a store that sold 25 kinds of toilet paper. how could this level of abundance be morally acceptable given the poverty she had seen on the other side of the globe. now this piece of reality had been peeled back she could look under the surface of things and she could see she was utterly abandoned and surrounded by a nameless person. she became crying uncontrollably. by the time pete found her she could barely function. i'm having a panic panic attack she managed to say. get me out of here. that's one of the big issues that helen addresses in the book. >> the book tackles generally,
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women in combat, but it's also their changing roles in war and the ever present danger of sexual assault and harassment and the stress on daily lives, families and relationships, when they come back home. but the overall take away from the book is much greater than that. i was wondering what you hope to address through telling these three stories of these three women? >> you know, i think what i was hoping to address and what i wound up addressing might be two different things. at the outset, really, outset, really, i think what i was hoping to address was may be, there was this huge division in our society and i just saw two authors walk-in who have written books who are both veterans and novelists and their books are really amazing and i hope you have a chance to check them out. i think they are speaking later this afternoon. >> at 330.
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>> i think i was hoping to address a really big question between civilians and military mindsets. i put myself in the camp that ignorant group of people with civilians over here who don't understand what a military deployment is really about. i have no military background and neither does anybody in my family so we haven't lived through this personally. i found it disturbing that we could go through a decade of war and that i could be so cut off, and i wanted to just understand more about what it was they were living through and to be able to write a book that would enable other people to get some feeling for what it was like. i think that is what drove my desire to get material that would bring it to life. i think the reader who has not gone to afghanistan and not gone
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to iraq needs a sensory experience, almost, to put themselves there. they need to be able to feel the sand in afghanistan that creeps into your close and pages of your notebook and is all over your bedsheets and gets in your food to start to begin to feel like what it might possibly be like. but i just felt really strongly that if my tax dollars were going to people to send them off to war, that i was therefore implicated and i should know, i, i should educate myself and i should learn what is this experience like because it shouldn't be an experience that is born alone by those we asked you to play. it is those of us doing the asking as well who should be carrying that story,
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and i think part of the reason it is so hard for people to come home is that they are coming back and they walk right into a reality where nobody knows what they have been doing. nobody knows what they been living through and nobody can understand. at a certain poor, michelle is speaking to a family member and that person says to her, another friend walks up and her family member wants to introduce her and they say this is my sister michelle, she just got back from iraq. michelle said i was in afghanistan. i think that is the level of disconnect. yes it is hard. hard. there are two wars being fought at the same time and they are in foreign places and you can't keep track of the cities if they're here and if you're wondering where falluja is or where kabul is. they're hard to
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find on the map because you're not familiar with those places are and it's hard to find on the map. but it's really important and it's great to have fellow authors writing about the same subject because it's in some of the books like the forever war or good soldiers and their coming out after these conflicts. it's in the books that you can really feel what it's like and learn what it is like. the news coverage, people were trying but it is hard to convey the reality of it and there's this whole canon of books being written now that are conveying the experience. in some ways what the book actually winds up being about is a friendship between these three women. i didn't maybe at the onset think that i wanted to write a book about female friendship and
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how that helps people get through difficult experiences, but that's really about what the heart of the book is. it's about that as much as anything. >> i think we have time for some questions. thank you so much. does anyone have any questions for helen? >> this is ross, he is one of our authors. please use the microphone. >> can you hear me? okay. you had mentioned you didn't have any families in the military and you are not a member yourself. did you feel you didn't have a right to write about it? >> very much much so. it was hard actually to even feel legitimate. at the end of all the research, i think my my editor tricked me
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into starting the writing because i think he thought i was gonna research this forever and never feel that i have the authority. i think when you don't go overseas, you never feel this is your story to tell, and i knew when i wrote the manuscript that i had to be making mistakes as a civilian because frankly it's so hard to understand the military culture. there's a funny moment where desma tried to explain to me where she had lived in iraq. i said well was in a tent like in afghanistan? she said no no, i had a chew. i said what's a chew? she said a housing unit and i said what's that? she said a shipping container and i said okay but it required for
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attempts of translation before i could see what she was trying to say. that's the gap between military and civilian cultures. it's a hard 11 to bridge. i could almost flip the question around and turn it to others, to either of you, and say isn't it hard to convey what you lived through to a civilian reader? that's the reverse of the question. >> first i just want to say, you have every right to write about it as i do so thank you for doing it. this is michael. >> michael petrie #speemac yes. you should know, there's a sense, a continuum of credibility within the military experience. even the military experience. even for people have been deployed many times in the
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military wondering if they have any right to talk about it at all. i wasn't outside the wire that much. you're on the the side of the continuum or i was in special forces so i was outside the wire all the time. you think of the person on the side of the continuum but then you when you meet them they don't think of themselves as that. everyone knows knows that their role is very small, and in warfare, combat is the punctuation mark at the end of a very, very long paragraph that starts in the civilian world and ends in that moment. so you have every right, it's your war two. >> what you just said about combat being the punctuation mark of a longer sentence or paragraph is really beautiful, and i know these women would agree because being support personnel, they sometimes felt that almost a sense of
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illegitimacy because they would compare themselves to the combat veteran who had been in a combat role"c 5ñ and feel that they wor why is our story valuable or why would someone want to know our story when we weren't assigned a combat role. in their mind they were only support personnel, yet it something like nine out of ten military personnel are in a support role supporting the one person in combat. sometimes, i think the combat stories are even more dramatic and even more heroic but i was drawn to the support personnel because their stories are not often told. they are the stories that maybe we don't hear about as much. thank you guys for being here.
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>> can you hear me? >> yes. >> you shared this with us earlier and maybe i just missed it because the door was open and that's loud back here but what were the ethnic cities of these three women you selected? >> so all three women are white and i had written up book previously about for young latina mexican-american women and in some ways i really wanted to write about white poverty and what it would be like to be from a working-class or a poor family and be white, because sometimes we make the mistake in this country by imagining that poverty is related to color and that's not all the time true. sometimes it can be true, so
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michelle comes from a background where i described her dad had been married many times and in and out of jail and her mom had been on welfare or doing factory jobs. desma comes from an even more difficult background where she grew up partly in foster care and she really pulled herself together inside the military, the structure that the institution provided to her she felt was very valuable to her building a healthier lifestyle than the one she grew up in. debbie had a less challenging childhood, but never rich. was there a second part to that question westmark. >> i respect that since that was part of the original thought process as you went and involved the book into what it is. did you ever think what the perspective would've been if you would have identified a variety
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of maybe african-american, hispanic and white because, i'm not saying i'm coming up with any conclusions, but i would be curious about what that would've presented relative to how your book would've round up. >> in the armed forces of course they are incredibly diverse. that would have been a different book and an incredibly valuable book. i ended up being drawn to this book partly because of meeting michelle first and then her introducing me to desma and debbie. these these women were willing to turn over so much material, but the strength and weakness of the book is that it's three stories. three very personal, intimate stories but only three stories.
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it's a very close look at three individuals but there are so many other stories that could be told. >> one of the things i find really interesting about the three women that she selected, the one, michelle, michelle, one of the reason she thought it would be good to sign up what she thought she would get fit. that was was the level she was hoping. >> pre-911. >> of course. then debbie was doing it out of patriotism because she wanted to please her father and desma was hoping for education. i think those are the real issues here, pre-9/11. we have. we have time for one more question. i think she's going to bring you the microphone so everybody can hear. >> i have a comment and a question. i thought one of the really interesting issues that
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you just touched on was social class. in the book i thought that was very interesting. the other question i have is how are tran1's children doing question that i know that was part of the issue as well. she had kids and she left as well for such a long time. so last fall tran1, debbie and i went to washington. we were asked to speak to the armed services committee just a conversation around the experiences they had as being a woman. during that, i was discussing what it meant to display single mothers. in the book, you would see in very close detail how desma children are cared for when she's not here during her to
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year-long deployments. her children are young. her girls are young and her son is a little bit older. the repercussions for children is something even the department of defense is looking at as were deploying single parents and mothers. when we have the draft, we didn't didn't draft parents of young children of either gender so in the all voluntary military, this is a new thing where we have these children at home where these parents are doing multiple lengthy deployments. when i finish talking, desma took the microphone and said i just want to add something to that. she said, i am earned a lot of money during my deployment. i got combat pay and i chose to
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enlist and i chose to fulfill those orders. i appreciated having that opportunity to earn that money. i earned a lot more money doing this than i was making as a waitress at a truck stop, and i wouldn't want my experience used in a way that would deny anybody else the same economic opportunity. and so, she was essentially saying, you how in thorpe the author of this book might think it's not a great thing deploy a single mom, but that's easy for you to say because you weren't trying to raise my children on what i was earning. she told me later that she thought i was uppity, i think she meant upper class. [laughter] i think she was right.
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the class angle is there and it's very real but if you speak about it in a certain way, it sounds like you are looking down on people and desma wouldn't like that at all. so she is not someone who wants to be seen as a victim so there is something there in my perspective on the fact that i don't think it's great as a society to deploy single mothers and i feel critical of that propensity on our part because i feel the children are suffering as a result. desmond is desma disagreement with me, i think there's a lot there and we could probably talk about that for a long time. >> she got around - we weren't
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supposed to allow single mothers to enlist and she got along around that. >> when she enlisted, they were not recruiting single mothers are single parents to sign up and desma actually got married right before she went to basic training so that she was not in the position where she could have given up custody of her child which was a decision another person might make, but she chose to marry her boyfriend that she was technically no longer a single mom. there are many many people in the forces who wind up in desma position later on which was she got divorced and that marriage didn't last. she ends up a single parent again later. now if you are married when you sign up and have custody of your children and later divorce and have custody of your children and are a single parent with full custody, you can still get
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appointment orders which is what happened to desma. the long-distance parenting which desma does is heartbreaking and she is trying so hard to be there for her kids and be a good mother. anyway, i'm afraid we have to and there. >> i want to thank helen thorpe so much. >> thank you. >> please don't forget the
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is the senior writer with espn and with his brother mark. he is the co-author of the league of denial, the nfl concussions and the battle for truth of "the new york times" best-selling book on the nfl efforts to cover up the link between football and brain-damaged. steve worked previously as a correspondent for the "washington post" where he worked the pulitzer prize for international reporting for his investigative series on the role of mercenaries in the iraq war. he is the author of big boy rules america's mercenaries fighting in iraq and the co-author of the duke of havana baseball, cuba and the search for the american dream. his brother is an investigative reporter for espn and a member of esp espn investigations and enterprise unit which produces work for the award-winning program outside the lines which i know many of you have seen. steve and mark serve as reporters and writers on a companion documentary of the same name for pbs award-winning
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program "frontline and the league of denial," that earned the prestigious george polk and peabody award as well as in any nomination. for mark along with colleague lance williams he earned national honors in 2004 and in 2005 are there coverage of the steroid scandal in baseball and the book game of shadows barry bonds and the steroid scandal became an immediate "new york times" bestseller and prompted major league baseball to investigate steroid use in its sport. the ucs pattern beginning to develop? leigh steinberg is regarded as one of the greatest sports agents in sports history. in one stretch during his career he is the agent who held the six overall number one picks in the nfl draft over a seven-year period and the number of picks that he represented in his career is unmatched in nfl
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history. at one time half of the starting quarterbacks in the national football league were his clients. he founded his practice in 1975 and has since represented over 250 professional athletes including troy aikman, steve young, bruce smith, thurman thomas, ben robison berger and many more and he is president and ceo of steinberg sports and entertainment and advocate for player safety. he has hosted two national conferences on the subject of compassion's in the nfl and finally, the third and fourth member of the panel is pellom mcdaniels iii here as a former football player having played for the kansas city chiefs. [laughter] he's assistant professor of the african studies at emory university and his scholarly interests include african-americans and world war i and the intersection of sports intand civil rights.
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his first book prints of jockeys examines the career of the 19th century african-american jockey. we'd also like to welcome the audience watching around the country on a c-span book tv. the issue in the nfl came to the forefront because of the book that steve and mark had co-authored so we want to begin by asking them to quickly issue a kind of summary statement about how this issue came to their attention and the nation's attention at what the status of the debate is and then we will invite leigh to weigh in having a couple of conferences for the players and sports administrations. we would like to invite pellom mcdaniels to weigh in on this issue. so i will turn it over to you. >> before i start, we really want to thank you for having us here. this is our second time back at the festival and it's amazing how huge it's gotten and we are grateful to be here. i will just give you a quick
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synopsis. digging into the story there had been a lot of good reporting done on the issue of concussions and football prayers to us jumping into the story in 2011. our colleagues at espn have done fantastic work on the issue and ellen at "the new york times" and others. but i think one of the fundamental issues that haven't been really addressed about this is what did the league know and when did he know it and how did it address a problem that was becoming a huge public health crisis not only had the nfl level but the youth level and the pressure of the nfl was rationally quite considerably on this in 2010. the commissioner was called before congress and just hammered by the representative henry waxman are basically raising the question asked of the commissioner is there a connection between football and brain-damaged by this time, there have been a number of
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stories about this connection to raise the specter and the commissioner don what he has done repeatedly to distinguish his slave of the question and say let's let the medical people decide that. to which their representative was not only sort of dismissive but also divisive and i think a lot of medical people were, too because for them to question han had been answered and to this day this could have been the commissioner's position wake up with the medical people decide. for us, the book was an opportunity to reflect that to the beginning of this issue which began to percolate in the nfl in the early '90s or in large part because a few other folks. so we wanted to get at the core of taking a look at the denial and ultimately with the book represented for us was presenting what ha happened than two decades of denial become a sort of a two-pronged front of ip nfl in which they went after
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scientists raising the question between football and brain-damaged and sought to ostracize them and their statements and at the same time essentially taking over a medical journal and publishing paper after paper after paper in the journal and suggesting that there was no problem playing football and there was no connection but essentially they had different greens and the rest of us and they just were not susceptible to getting concussions are the kind that would cause brain damage. and the wisdom of such the but percolated them for years. and i think the book is an effort to do that and what came out of the box wa book was a hil of publicity around the issue accompanied by the documentary that generated additional focus around this issue and to that point now there is an ongoing dialogue.
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>> when we started to get into this, we had a real opportunity to talk to a lot of football players to get their thoughts on what was going on, so you have on the one hand as mark said the nfl with all of its power and resources trying to deny that this was actually a problem, and yet we were going from player to player receiving the incredible devastation that had been wrought. and it was strictly attributable to their career. so you have this obvious tension where these people were feeling left out. they were feeling abandoned. i think like many mental health problems, you saw that it was not something that simply affected the players. it's simply a fact that everyone around them and so we tried to
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him as much of a sort of granular way to lay out what this looked like. and so, when we began the book, we knew we wanted to start really as patient zero. it was mike webster at the center for the pittsburgh steelers during the 1970s. and what we did is we just essentially chronicled what had happened to webster and what had happened as he had gone from being this person who was the stream like conservative, stable, i hear in the community, so be there was a great teammate and family man to somebody who was completely unrecognizable to his friends and his family. he went from somebody who was financially conservative to somebody spending every dime his family had. he ended up living in his truck almost as a transient shuttling between wisconsin and pittsburgh at some timhave some time esseny
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living on the road sometimes sleeping in train and bus stations. he had incredible physical problems as a result of his career in the nfl even beyond his obvious mental health issues. and he would go to these sort of extremes to try to deal with them. he would've utterl was utterly s teeth back into his mouth. he had incredible trouble sleeping. he couldn't sleep in a bad decision would sleep in a chair and when that didn't work he tried to sleep in his truck and when that didn't work he had purchased several mail order stun guns and had his friend literally teaser him to sleep and so it would give an idea of the magnitude of what these issues were.
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and i think what we saw over time as the book came out and we were able to dramatize some of these issues, use all the tension that exists and continues to exist today and on the one hand, that is a major public health problem in the country that affects thousands of kids and parents and players all the way up to the nfl and there's an incredible powerful lucrative entity but we have what it means to the culture. you know, the nfl is still incredibly popular well over 100 million people watched the most recent super bowl. our employer has a 15.2 billion over contract to broadcast monday night football and they have that contrast for a reason. it makes a lot of money. so that is at the heart of what i think we are now and i think it is going to be fascinating to
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hear what we say about this and where we are going so i don't think that anybody really totally knows where this is going to end. >> you've hosted conferences for your clients and anyone that would want to come through the sports agents or scientists, what kind of a reaction did you get at those conferences and also from your clients and players what came out of it and what did you learn about the issue from having done that? spin at first i want to thank the festival of books to be surrounded by other people who love books and what an amazing thing and with a mind-boggling presentation they do. and incidentally my book is the agent for making deals into changing the game. so i had a practice that they look for role models of the thad re- trace their roots to the high school and professional community. i had to start in the nfl and i
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watched them get hit in phoenix and knocked on the ground and blood coming out of his ears and she looked for a while like he had died and petrified me. then there was a night in 1995 data between the san francisco 49ers for the right to play in the super bowl and the whole city was lost with celebration. i went up to his room and he was sitting there he looked at me and said where am i. did we win the game, did i play today? yes. did we win the game, yes. his face brightened.
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five minutes later he looked at me and said where am i? why am i here? i almost thought he was joking but this went on ten minutes later with the same sequence again and i finally wrote down on a piece of paper the answers to his concussion questions. and it terrified me. and i felt a crisis of conscience because if my work with athletes was designed to enhance their lives to lead them into the second career fulfillment, then how was it can't juggle for me to enable players to do an activity that would lead to all the rest of it. but we didn't know anything. we were told by the doctors over and over again and i did go to the conferences that there were
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no long-term consequences from concussion. and one hit doesn't need another in the temporal proximity don't do anything. so, i told the conference where we brought the leading urologists from around the country. manufacturers tried to approach it in different ways. i had tried a command and others. gary plummer was one of the players now that has dementia. so, we issued a white paper and not much changed. we did it again in 2005 at the institute and then we have robert and kevin and a whole series that have been with me on this from the start. they had don come to studies ano they told us three or more conversations and exponentially
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higher risks of alzheimer's, parkinson's and chronic traumatic encephalopathy and depression. so i called it a ticking timebomb and academic. so every time they hit the defense of linemen at the inception of a football play, it produces a low-level sub concussion hit. so you could have an offense of linemen walkout after playing the high school pro football with 10,000 hits none of which had been diagnosed and none of which the aggregate will certainly do much worse than the three knockout blows. and so what has changed? we do baseline testing, we have
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better diagnostic techniques. but the bottom line is that it's not healthy and 50% of the mothers actually knew what this concussion crisis leads to. they can play any sport but not tackle football and the socioeconomics of football with change. it would be impoverished people who knew they were going to get brain damage. so i had been working and this protects against the skull fracture but there is a compression system we've been working on all sorts of ways ultimately that will help us but thank god for these gentlemen because it was lovely for year after year.
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they studied medicine at the university of guadalajara and was a room of her -- rheumatologist and he had his studies and research. now i am not a doctor mac but i don't think that rheumatology is the brain. [laughter] and what they told him over and over again was there is no risk from concussion and no long-term effects. one doesn't leave to another and that's what they told the players. so, one last thing, you have to stick against the culture of the health of denial that all athletes have. they are taught to ignore pain.
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real men don't get locked out of the lineup, don't complain. we would have known sooner about this if they would have been honest and if they understood what it was that they were suffering from. i had the players so if you and i see long-term health is the biggest parity and after that would come again an the game anr that one play in the priorities they would turn on their head. it's display. so you get athletic denial and young men deny a. it's difficult. none of my athletes have been happy with the way that i've spoken out. and by their book especially if you have kids who are thinking about coalition sports. >> you play in the national football league. take us inside of a typical game in the hit along the battle line
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of scrimmage. how violent is it and were you ever aware of the potential danger from concussion a-qwex. >> i am a historian and i'm someone who thinks very deeply about issues. he brings up a couple different things about the impoverished communities and the idea that sports like football and basketball or other ways out of poverty and not just for the individual but to communities and families and so this issue is going to have an impact on people. they are big into the industries and we all acknowledge that and recognize that and so we understand it's escalated into the ground because more people of disposable income to attend and follow their favorite athlete and if you were a kid wants to be with them and so the marketing of the nfl has made
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this not an impossible kind of quest that we are up against much more than just educating them about the future of their bodies and their minds if they pursue sports in this particular way. so there is something here to the culture that has to be recognized that will make this a difficult task. from the standpoint of somebody that played high school college professional football i think that the ways in which we are groomed as athletes do not just suffer through pain or injury but to have a common objective is to be supportive of the team's intention. you want to suck it up because it is for the team and that is how we have been conditioned into our supposed to represent your manliness even at the age of ten. so that is a social conditioning. we also have to address and understand what does it mean if
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you are 10-years-old. the fans are trying to do the same thing so from that standpoint you have to address these issues not from a former athletes that played in the nfl but when you are a free agent and as someone who's tried to secure positions on the roster. you have to continue to play foggy headed or not and so from leigh's standpoint your health and future and life, livelihood, all those factors play a role and you make the decision whether to speak up and say coach, i can't go. when you think about the rookie behind you who wants to be in the position that you ar of youg six figures every year that the difficult decision to make and so you suck it up.
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i enjoyed the game. but when i go back and visit and i had forgotten on the charge you get from being in that space is a limited space if you've been there before you want people to think about you because you are in that space and able to perform.
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we know the names and the guys and you can imagine in my household with my two children and my life we think about these things and we have to because as stated at the defensive end in my career playing in the coalition and so every play you are sustaining these jarring as of the brain over the ten-year period including training camps. so you have whatever it is that we are trying to understand and escalate at some point if it will. so it's not every one that has the same results as some of these other men who've passed away. finally, the other thing i want to say is on that moment in 1988
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they played against ucla in the rose bowl. oregon state didn't win a lot of games in the 80s. to play at the rose bowl someone like troy aikman. there was a roster of future nfl football players and so we got wired to play this game and i beat of the offense of tackle bad. iran today thai ran the way thae supposed to. [laughter] the way that we are taught to play the game. you don't run up and say you're it. you make the play. you make sure that he's down.
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but i didn't think about that until now because we have a highlight film and think about the greatest hits we have a highlight film that represented the play for the football team so imagine being responsible for the play and reflecting on it thinking about the person that was on the ground. so, not everybody i think will be able to do that because if it is a part of the game, you don't necessarily think o about those individuals that you are playing against. you're doing your job but when you know the people, it is a difficult thing to revisit because you hand in what they are experiencing today. >> there were a group of people that became much more prominent and came to be known as the
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dissenters willing to take on the nfl and one made a comment that if only half of the mothers in america understood what was at stake for the young boys they wouldn't let them play football. that was ten or 12 years ago when the statement was made. have you seen in terms of the numbers of kids playing the game have you seen an impact in that area yet? >> there is a scene in the above query there is the neuropathologist mike webster presenting data to the longtime neurological specialist for the
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pittsburgh steelers and that guy in the middle of the meeting pause and said do you really understand what you're doing, and he said yes i think i get it. and then he just sort of moved on and she said i want to ask you again do you understand what you're doing and he said i think so but why don't you tell me and he said 10% of the mothers in america belief that football causes brain damage and that is the end of football. and i think what we are seeing now we did a story about a year or so ago about the participation rates and they dropped something on the order of 10% since this issue went before congress and became a
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public health issue about their own kids or about what they believe the potential impact of this and should you let your kids play and say the risk is too great. the question is to me what does that mean long-term and does it mean to theater system to the nfl is going to dissipate to the extent that it will affect the league. and my personal opinion is that it is going to be decades before we know it is ultimately going to be the science that decides the question that if the prevalence at the rate of the cte among football players is a huge number that is obviously going to have a seismic effect on the sport but we are not there yet.
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>> before we really know, it's not about waiting for that the r in one fashion. i think that it's instructive to look at the way that the nfl has marketed the issue over time. for years the marketing was all about the balance of the sport that was basically you could go back and see their greatest hits and it was all about the hardest hits that you could see and be e have microphones on the field and it was visceral and you felt it. now it has really shifted and it seems to be torn because the violence is what compels him of people to love the sport and buy one of those people that enjoys it and i think while it's true it is an appealing piece of it, the league is grappling with this issue now and what its begin to do is market itself
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towards mothers and we addressed this in the book and then we have done some follow-up reporting on it where they have collectively gone after moms and brought them into the nfl headquarters and tried to sort of educate them about how the sport can be safer and they have created a whole program called heads-up football which is designed to suggest there's a way to play the sport without having vote. that's the idea supposedly that we need to go back to the way in which the sport was played in a safer manner and when you talk as we did about the former players of the program you hear a lot of guys that are skeptical because the suggestion that if you watch the way that the game is played at the speed that it's played and the level, no matter where the suggestion that you can figure out a way to navigate your head out of a play seems fairly ludicrous. nevertheless they are pouring a lot of money into that issue and
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i think that's where they are seeing that decrease. when you carry this news about the potential danger of the concussion from the player's standpoint, do they want to know are the implications and possible? spinet i would like to say a word about the question that you asked. first of all this is not just a pro football issue if the collision sports issue is a college and high school issue.
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when it comes to get the second thing i would say the brain is still in formation when kids are nine, ten to 11, 12 you can still get hit wrong and enough times. i love football and i spent 40 years working with the biggest stars but understand this. the nielsen rating on television were nfl nighttime football. it neveit's never happened befo. this country is so crazed that football in america which is a
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pregame show. it will start every form of entertainment so it is not only the most popular sport by 2-1, it is the most popular television show. 40 million people a week play the football. the estimates are 20% of the computers in use during last season and businesses were used for fantasy football. so you're talking about an obsession that we all have and after the nfl football, second, college football. because the concussion settlement hasn't been approved totally, we don't really know what the nfl would do if they
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were not worried about the liability that would come from them instituting new things showed that they actually knew a long time ago. so, we will see. i tried to get all of our older players to get scans to charge thchartthe blood flow and then t thing that we know right now which in the first hour starts to read growth capital areas after 40 hours. players haven't changed at all. i would explain everything to them. then rodders berger got a concussion and i said so, you understand that the risk of you getting a second concussion in the next game is much higher,
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right? you understand the two of them in close temporal proximity is a perfect their logical storm and the reason steve had to retire. so do you get that this isn't going to make a difference in your season? and then i went to his mother and his father and because they are my best allies it is us against, and he played. he played in the game and i have not seen very much change at all the bible taught you this when i saw patrick retire after years at the top of his game, we are going to start seeing this manifest while players are playing and people start having a symptomatology and the 10-12. it's not going to take 20 years so that's why we are sitting on top of an epidemic as the strong players that hit has changed. you didn't have -- i had a
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player for the cardinals. he weighed 375 pounds and he could run a sub 5-40. [laughter] >> what is the reaction that you get when you talk to former players and they are aware of this issue and you even get to the mindset earlier of how important it is to stay in the game. how willing do you feel that a player would be to a growing understanding of the risks of concussion? >> i think that they would be inundated with information and some are accepting of information and it is telling you that there is a great possibility that you are altering your life and the more hits but you sustain and if you receivreceived concussions and e
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in a position where that's kind of on par for the course, you are going to do damage for your self and if they are paying attention and if there is any information being circulated then there should be a genuine concern. from the former players in atlanta there are these lawsuits i'm learning that they are coming together to see the teams and kansas city in particular there's a question about how much was known and a number of guys have several concussions and so the families are concerned that eventually they will experience what we have seen with the junior i think the older players are now more concerned about the potential outcome of this and the current players are aware of it, but i am not clear necessarily of the percentage that are moving
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towards pushing for regulations or pushing to retire early. we had a great time talking in the green room and the idea is retiring at this point because of his feet, that's one thing. but i think there's something else we have to understand because there is so much available right now if you play out in the contracts you don't necessarily have to go back and play again unless he wants to especially if you have a life plan if you figure out i'm going to spend five years playing in the nfl and i will retire 27, 28 and going to get my degree and practiced law for th released 2s after i'm done playing then i start a business so you have been strategically thinking about the play it's going to shorten that they have so much money they can move on but the injuries that while in ker -- ad
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kerr over that time. have i helped concussions and one on the kickoff return and one window waiting for the return i'm looking back at him waiting to pick it up so that i can turn and leave the ledge and turning automatically having the guy in front of me but on the sidsign mine was loopy. but stayed in the game and so trying to answer the amount of money it's a very lucrative occupation that if you make the choice to pursue it you can say i'm going to play five years and then i am out. >> we want to invite questions from all of you so we would like your youtube work your way to the microphone so you can also hear the question gives your name and go ahead and wrecked
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your question please. >> my name is tony from the league and just about everybody. it appears that the game has changed the way that it's being played. it's just a totally different pace and they started increasing exponentially. it has the game changed the way they play it up to the 60s versus later on. it was bigger, stronger, faster
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if you have linebackers. that is these human beings and so it's a traffic accident on every play. when they gave the presenting speech at the hall of fame he gave a brilliant speech, it was wonderful and he now has dementia. >> you gave a great state. 1970 usa merger and so now it is a commodity and it is commercialized on television audience. so if it wasn't geared up to be exciting if wouldn't have been on television and so you are
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playing into your audience as well and so having the time constrainta timeconstraints andy to sell to a national audience that accelerates the importance of football and kids like me who watch it as a kid to want to be like those guys on television and so if you are watching in the '90s and you are playing you want to make a hit like your favorite defenses on the receiver who caught the ball blindly so what we are seeing on television. we have the space program that we lost a lot of astronauts but we got communications and other products and we've had military but we lost a lot of people but we got the interstate system and because the internet.
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is it causing more research leading to more cures and benefits? >> there's a huge race going on to see who can be the first to develop, and again it just protects against the skull fracture that the use the compression to attenuate the energy field so that it dissipates and will also be used for for motorcyclists, bicycles and everything. so yes the research being done to provide a nasal spray that stops the brain from spoiling.
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there's a posttraumatic brain injuries and they are looking at things like progesterone, treatments to heal the brain so you have these different opportunities but whether or not it is the mission of something these types of particles would be available on the sideline so to have the opportunity to test the protocols it would be for football, hockey, soccer so you are correct there is an opportunity we have a stopgap right now do we admit this one along term effect if it will what can we do to help heal the brain. >> there's hundreds of millions of dollars to be made out of
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preventing a concussion, healing compassion, i consult for a few companies that are there. it's like the first person that gets their come a concussion, alzheimer's, i went to a six companies on stem cells that are approved and i went and visited one and they are three to five years away from being able to insert the stem cell because there's profit if we can send a man to mars we can't make a helmet protects people at all? engineers, profit motive. >> good evening gentlemen. this question is for mr. steinberg as an attorney and a sports agent do you anticipate as the researchers become more accepted and understood in the community and the nfl did you
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anticipate a guaranteed money of contracts increase coming for to help players with those liabilities and help them offset the liabilities? >> they agree to accept the settlement in the $975 million. 975 ilion dollars might have been closer to actually dealing with the incredible pain and the rest of it. >> be older players have common grief right now and they want the money, so it is the same reason that they took 55% of the growth they were making in the last one.
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we are not talking about players off the field are not the advanced workers party. they are non- label activists that they think about now and all the rest of it. the guarantees are going up in football because we have a salary cap and so they are starting to guarantee some salaries for the first time until the last couple of years only the signing bonus was guaranteed in the football contract and that years of play were not guaranteed. baseball and basketball were completely guaranteed so they could cut players at any time for any reason. we are getting a few more guarantees. >> i watch more college than nfl but i do see them doing concussion checks and i'm
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wondering if you feel that is very effective in preventing further injury in the game. >> there is certainly more awareness around this issue and they have put in place an increased level of eyes in the sky basically people that are watching out for this and so you'll see circumstances they will come off the field and maybe the players are even more attentive to talk about this. they just want to play and to stay on the field. >> in college football if that's test that they do is positive, they don't come back on the field until they are tested further. >> that is the way the policy is supposed to work. there is a suggestion they go to the sideline and in six minutes
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-- so that's where the challenge is increased and it's especially challenging the dynamic i always said i think the hardest job beyond actually playing the game to they are serving the impossible role. they try to get on as fast as they can because they are played by the team and yet they are trainers into so they are supposed to be responsible for the health and welfare of the players and as if it is an impossible job to deal with and so they speak around the country and have all of the new technologies and companies write their. they are trying like mad to get a better way to diagnose the sideline khan cautions so that again the free-market system is allowing that to happen. but remember unless you are laid out flat on your back and you
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don't get up quick, it's almost hard to see if you are on the sidelines what just happened. so, we are detecting this as of this. >> my name is melanie and i will admit it comes from the league of denial as my nephews were playing high school football so this might be a naïve question that wasn't if they are able to detect the concussions now why can't the nfl just say we will not let a player come on before a certain amount of time since the players clearly are not going to take their own interest into that? >> that is what is this to happen. there's a protocol and they are diagnosed with a concussion they have to go through a series of tests to determine whether his levels are back in the place in which he is essentially ready to perform again.
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the players talked about basically cheating the test to get a lower score they come back and do the baseline and again they just want to play. >> it's interesting there is now a technology where the helmet sensors can be implanted to detect the number of hits that are occurring and the amount that are being generated into these sensors have been used by some colleges like north carolina for a decade now and they've accumulated in our mass amount of data and so he is also an adviser at the nfl for a
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period of years now and just a couple of weeks ago they announced again that they are not going to use them and the reality is that if they did use than they would immediately know a lot of information about the amount of force that is being generated on the field and how many times people are getting hit in the head and it's kind of a no-brainer but they don't seem to want it and the players don't want it because they don't want that information to be used in contract negotiations with so where does that leave you he want to get to the bottom? they took a college game two seasons ago and there is a presence of the marker in the blood. they found that in a game with no concussions, no diagnosed concussions 70% had the marker
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which is a precursor to the long-term injury. >> let's go back over here. >> i was an athletic trainer mike question is about the contestant injuries we don't see that much about the injuries and what they are and to me that's the real problem talking with the coach in different ways we could practice and different ways that we could go without taking the hit and learning to tackle because i've been educated and i've done the impact testing and i know how to do those tests and how to read the results but how do kids and parents interact in these things and how come there isn't more
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coming from the injuries. [laughter] >> i think one issue is there's a lot of debate over what these actually mean. but i think that there is a -- we agree that there is a larger question here which is if the sub concussion is the issue you really cannot eliminate this problem without eliminating the sport and so -- we are not advocating that it gets to this question of prevalence again and
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what sort of dosage and how many hits do you need and if it turns out that huge numbers of people are getting this and we are going to be facing a question and answer to your question is an issue that is being pushed especially by boston university that the cases haven't been diagnosed and there are questions about what role do they play exactly and are they really -- is that where this is starting and spreading or is it something different? >> from the nfl perspective of course they love the fact that this is not a conversation right now and frankly because it is
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the definition of the sport it is the coalition but i think if you noticed they can only handle this in so many ways that are basically saying football is a problem and so the answer is we are going to legislate all of the huge and the hard hits that you see because that's what we can do and that is what it looks like to be the problem. but when you look at the data that suggests it is an issue i don't know what the current numbers are good when we look at the look a book at the time then university folks it was the preponderance of the cases that this narrow degenerative disease for offense and defense of wine in and playing the core of the sport so it's being talked about but the answer is to focus on the celebratory heads to say look we are going to talk about
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this. >> is that arizona or alabama? >> my name is michael and my question is bot mostly for profr mcdaniels. do you think that the denial is the fact 75% of the week is african-american. from the standpoint of somebody that is african-american a high percentage are seeking opportunities to create social mobility and so it is to better the physical attribute and take advantage of the money available and therefore also help your family community is a narrative that we all hear how are things and get these contracts and they are willing to sacrifice for
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their families. you can have tv contracts and enforcement appeals and everything attached to this game that we play that is a business that it has to be if you admit to it all these connections will unravel. no one wants to lose and it's on the number of levels, too so they want to take advantage of what they feel is their opportunity and take advantage of what they see as their god-given gift abilities. so in the family community as they are looked upon as men whoo are making a way for their families.
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you have these articles that deal with the golden goes to extract student athletes of urban environments more than football so that's part of what we are seeing right now is that you have these young men. what is it about they were not willing and one of its alumni said we don't have the right athletes here we need to get the job student athletes we just need the football players to get the best athletes in here and so at the end of the day and how to sign those new contracts. [applause]
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>> don't forget to become a friend of the tucson festival of books so we can make sure that it remains free and to support important literacy programs in our community. if you would gather your things and without us quickly as possible and don't forget the gentleman will be outside and te two stuck -- tucson festival of books organizes and the university for their help and cooperation. co-author, league of denial. what was the reaction from your employer, espn? >> they were supportive and continue to be in many ways. we ran into a bit of a pickup and ended up doing a documentary with pbs frontline which had some complications about it. in the end the book would not have been possible without the support of espn. during the two years that steve and i were working i were working at the book we produced story after story
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after story that appeared on espn network or espn website so it was really an incredibly supportive effort after one let's take some calls. a lot of viewers have been watching, watch the panel with you want it. we will gin with larry in kansas. please go ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: it is my understanding that sends a texas football lineman this year all-stars are bigger than the pro players in 1998 suggesting what made the most sense was to get people and used, i.e. off of so many drugs.
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get people who are normal, like they used to be. >> i think there is no question that players are bigger and faster and stronger than they were. the one thing, as we document in the book, this issue dates back, the 1st case of this is mike webster diagnosed as a player in the early 70s, the heyday before players got it. so a suggestion that this was not going to be an issue , but i think there is no doubt players have gotten bigger and stronger and faster. just the amount of force is that much more substantial and creates a much more complicated issue and trying to address the problem. >> host: what kind of
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changes has the league made with regard to concussions and hits? >> the most substantive change has been to reduce heading during practice time that is the biggest thing have done. it is not just a matter of whether you are getting hit during a game but the practice time as well. that is a change that they made that is a tip to this issue. what else they have done to try to suggest that they are addressing this is they have become much more address to the aggressive at finding and penalizing players for helmet to helmet hits where defense it back slammed into a wide receiver at the same time there are a lot of people who suggest that is not the crux of the issue but it is sub concussive hits that are really more problematic. i am not sure that the league can legislate that out. after one what is the purpose of congressional hearings?
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>> guest: there had been a few, but in 2010 the concussion issue have begun to peak in a lot of ways, and the nfl was getting attacked in ways it had not previously. this was an effort by congress for a story was getting a lot of publicity to seize on it and begin to raise questions about whether the league was addressing this in the proper way and was also an opportunity for the politicians to do what they do sometimes, to posture and attack which is what they did. you saw did. you saw the representative really go after the commissioner of football. is football leading the concussions? the commissioner basically dodged the question. >> host: here is the cover of the book.
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in colorado. go ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: in the late 60s i began to look at the foundation research and sacramento, california. we put the headgear on our athletes. this is a short story. the guy went the guy went on to play ten years for minnesota. the kid said, my head on her more. it's been in the literature. no one is talking about the foundation. they started foundation. they started doing headgear research in 1959. >> it is interesting. and it is not something we are familiar with or rent into. i do know that the
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helmet is an interesting topic. the nfl spent considerable energy and time suggesting that they were going to create the perfect helmet. when when this issue began to percolate in the early 90s the nfl from the community to address this problem, one that became quite suspect. one of the things the committee did, they would create the perfect helmet. we have all the money in the world. we will throw money at the problem and fix it. so fractures to protect the blame which rattles around they could essentially pay kid essentially pay its way out of the problem by creating a super helmet to many people is naïve command to this day i i don't know anyone who believes there's a helmet out there that has solved this issue.
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certainly you have had helmets that can reduce concussions, but questions have been raised. raised. to this day i don't know that the helmet is the answer. >> host: did the league cooperate in the writing of this book? >> guest: they wanted no part. we part. we went to the nfl headquarters very early on and said, this is what we are doing. we want you to cooperate. liggett the trajectory of this issue. we were very transparent about what we wanted. the league listens to us and said, we are just not interested in helping or cooperating. did not make anyone available. we did find doctors who were willing to participate and talk, and that helped considerably. >> host: next call is roger.
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>> caller: it is ironic that you would mention you had not heard about any equipment that could help. i want to know if you are serious about getting to the meat of this problem. >> guest: we did this book, spent two years on it, and the issue was looking at the nfl handling historically. there is an ongoing look by any number of people trying to look at the issue of helmets and other opportunities to try to come up with a solution. a lot a lot of time continuing to cover. a lot of people out there for claiming or suggesting their closer to solving the problem with the helmet. mentioned a. mentioned a product that he says he understands is closer to that. a lot of money in the issue right now. all sorts of all sorts of levels to try to find an answer.
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>> host: jean, meridian, idaho. we're talking about the book league of the nile. >> caller: the question i have, i feel i have one that would do the job. >> guest: i think you would have to contact the nfl. the nfl. the league is spending a lot of money on research on this issue. there have been grants. i think if you went in the lab and did a search for the nfl funding you might get some information. >> host: i'm sure you have seen the advertisement for this new reality program. really hitting. >> guest: we spent a bunch of time in texas working on
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a story that looked at the ongoing question of youth playing. football is a huge peace of our society are now. friday night takes is an example of this. we saw kids as young as six and seven years old. it's almost funny to watch. they are adorable, this little helmets on. this question of whether kids should be playing and when they should be playing is no question that is ratcheted up. a lot of parents talk about whether you want your kids to be playing or not. we did a story not long ago that looked at the participation rates and pop warner. this seems to be no doubt that decrease was as a result of the ongoing discussion about whether kids should be playing football or not. >> host: good afternoon.
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>> guest: yes. yes. hi. isn't there a question of individual responsibility? i mean, by the time you are in college and old enough to be pro-, i mean,, i mean, isn't it and no trade-off for several million dollars youe possibly a part of your life. it is very much like going into the armed forces. he get certain benefits and the possibilities that you will get blown up or killed or maimed to the players who played for years all of them would acknowledge that they understood that there was going to be large impact physically they could be
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damaged and substantive ways. i we will think any of them would have told you they believe the understood they might end up losing her mind or have some sort of brain-damaged early-onset dementia. if you look back at salaries, there are a lot of guys not making millions and millions and players working in the off-season, short career lifespan. i don't think there is any doubt. you could not suggest to player that you cannot find a player you wouldn't think it is not understand the potential risks. i think i think the issue is more the league's denial for decades and in the message that they were sending to players. ♪ you talk about big tobacco, one cancer, and the science behind that. is there is there conclusive
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proof that what is happening in football today and has happened is leading to early brain-damaged? >> guest: the nfl would have you believe there is an ongoing debate. how widespread it is. i don't think to their lines in the minds follow there work closely is any doubt that when they are finding these damaged brains or former football players it has been the colleges that have collisions that have happened. for years the idea that colliding with someone are hitting your head can lead to some sort of damage separate from football was an accepted thing and has been. i think to a lot of people the debate about whether you could end up with some sort of damage hitting your head time and again almost seem silly.
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the larger debate seems to be around what percentage of players will end up with this issue, how substantive it will be command how young you will be when you run into some of these problems. >> caller: i'm originally from new zealand. the world champions, and i played rugby for about 20 years. i'm sure that the incidence of concussions was much lower. and i am wondering whether or not the nfl could take a much stronger position on tackles. there are strict rules about tackles that prevent a lot of injuries, particularly at the international level. also, the absence of helmets , ironically, might be a cause cause for fewer concussions. could you please talk about the difference between rugby union and american union and american football, whether
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or not you have looked at that? and if you have not looked at that, take a look at the new zealand rugby union seem and maybe open up a dialogue with the national rugby team to see whether or not you could learn something from new zealand and maybe they could play more games of the year. thank you very much. >> it's interesting. i have heard from a number of folks. this issue is raised repeatedly. the the one you hit on about helmets, the absence certainly changes the way players tackle in the game. we we address this in the book. in many ways, the helmet has made the concussion issue worse. it is overpriced piece of plastic that has emboldened players to tackle in much more aggressive ways than
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they had the helmets were leather. that. that said, the idea that the nfl would basically go back to leather which is an extreme suggestion, i i think there's no way that they will go back to the. it is as popular as it has ever been, and one of the reasons is because of the aggressive nature. the helmet is a big part of that. >> host: our fans culpable? >> guest: that is sort of a loaded question. it suggests that there is an ongoing problem. for me there are two pieces. the nfl is what it is. it is a violent sport. and now that the denial, denial, whether the league is in denial or not is to be debated. for the rest of us the denial is over. this board is what it is. i would like it to continue the way that it is.
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i don't think there is a change necessary. players no what there getting into. the issue, the crux of the question, what is interesting, the youth level where kids are -- their brains are still developing and there are questions about whether you want your kids to be playing and how much we value football and want to contribute to the discussion. i think we are all hope will called in part of the discussion. i don't necessarily have a position a position about whether we should have tackle football at a certain age. the number you pick will be an arbitrary one, but there is a reason. >> host: do you support the league being a tax-exempt organization? >> guest: it isn't the topic of our book. thankfully i am not paid to give my opinion. i am paid to investigate and
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look and issues. i think it raises a lot of questions when you have entities as large as the nfl that are financially huge, billion-dollar industries with the commissioner making at one time $45 million year , i think there is a question to be had about whether you can call yourself a nonprofit. >> host: our next question >> caller: yes. i have an anecdotal statement. i would like to touch on the coaching aspect of the against -- the youngsters. and a lot of this, the coaches need to be schooled as an, when i was coaching the team i kept up with what the other team was doing because what you have at that level, you have
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different levels of maturity. in other words, you have some skilled players who can bring it. you have little boys who have not developed a they are out there together. what i would do is look over at the other coach. when he substitutes in, i would substitute in. i try to put put my little guys against his little guys. some of them, 1st of all, over half of them barely belong out there. a lot of them discover by the time they get to high school. >> host: can we ask, were you worried about this issue? >> caller: absolutely. i w caller: absolutely. i would set up my teams. we had 100 after playing.
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upset my team up and try to make them said michael, but you have to play them all. i would get playing time. if the truth is known, a lot of the little guys don't want. >> host: any response? >> guest: coaching clearly is a huge part of the issue. the question always comes back to kenya coach your way out of the issue? it's a collision sport. i think proper tackling is obviously important in teaching that and having kids were not in over their heads is a huge peace of it. the end it comes back to whether you can really figure a way to legislate your way out of this.
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>> host: good afternoon. >> caller: a great deal of blame has been given to the increase in size, strength, speed of the players increasing intensity of the impact the game do you have any data that you have gathered related to natural turf versus synthetic turf? it seems to me that synthetic turf increases the speed of the players as well as being a harsher surface to come in contact with. >> i don't i don't have data, and i don't think we came across any. there was certainly a lot of anecdotal discussion players and their families who talk
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yerst what it was like to and their families who talk about what it was like to play on astroturf. now it's a different animal. at that time there was no question that it did not make players faster and consequently when you fell in your head in. we heard players and families talk about that. whether they're will be dated it looks a decrease these kinds of issues since we had gone to grasp and were different remains to be seen. >> host: a few minutes left with our guest. >> caller: i saw your documentary. can you comment on this doctor? he seemed like he did not know what he was talking about and just supporting the nfl type. >> guest: so he was a gentleman and i were cast and that nickname for an appearance he had hbo for
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you was asked repeatedly about the connection between football and brain damage. he was one of the few neuroscientists associated with the nfl. he had a background in neuroscience and have done a lot of research about around the issue of berkshire's current brain damage. contrary to a lot of the other folks who had been part of the nfl medical team that was aggressively denying this issue, there actually was a school that had a background in the brain. however, he along with the other doctors who were in charge of the nfl program repeatedly seem to deny a connection between the.brain damage than the other two-pronged attack as we lay out the book not only denied the issue is about the when
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they were doctors who began to raise this issue and talk about the problems of potential brain damage from football there was an aggressive attack against those doctors, and effort essentially tossed her size them. >> caller: my question has to do with whether or not mark founded found in research the spoke to address the issue of how colleges educate student athletes with regard to the dangers of confessions were injuries. it would seem to me that with a college-age student, they begin to make their own decisions. after one are you connected to football in any way? >> caller: my question came about because i was teaching at a big university. several of my students, we
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were talking the performance. and so the conversation area 18 and 23. if this is being talked about at public universities, universities, it would seem to be an ideal time. move forward possibly into professional careers. >> guest: it is interesting. we did not spend much of anytime focused around the college issue. i no that there is an ongoing debate and discussion around colleges as this issue has become more and more discussed. there are lawsuits at the college level. one of the things i heard was there was a definite
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suggestion, any substantive way including to the.that they were very slow at even hiring a medical director to begin to focus on look at concussions. i think at i think at all levels we have seen that slow response. the colleges are no different. going here is the book.
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>> good morning. thanks for the opportunity. minus nick lutsey, i'm a programmer director of
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international council on clean transportation. the icct is an nonprofit organization founded to provide for straight unbiased research and technical analysis, environmental regulators. the icct appreciates the opportunity provide testimony on the findings and advance notice of proposed rulemaking on aviation greenhouse gas emissions. our comments are informative engagement of icct staff environmental working group's for the international civil aviation organization, or icao, since 2008. in particular since 2000 we've contributed technical analysis, efforts to develop the international carbon dioxide or see the standards that is referenced heavily within the anpr. our comments will focus on the following points. first the scope of the endangerment finding. second, the applicable, finance


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