Has Science Failed To Connect Football and Chronic Head Injuries?

Our weekly check-in with the Texas Truth-O-Meter.

By Alain StephensMay 4, 2016 10:26 am,

The owner of America’s Team says science hasn’t cemented a link between playing football and chronic traumatic brain injury.

Is that a fact? Gardner Selby of the PolitiFact Texas fact-checking team has the answer.

Jerry Jones got into the tender topic on March 22, 2016, during the NFL’s annual meeting in Boca Raton, Florida, Dallas Cowboys spokesman Rich Dalrymple told us by email. We’d reached out to Dalrymple after seeing a March 23, 2016, news story in The Washington Post quoting Jones saying he’s not convinced medical and scientific research have established a link between football and brain disease.

According to the Post, Jones was asked to clarify whether there is, in his view, enough data to establish such a link. “No, that’s absurd,” Jones told reporters. “There’s no data that in any way creates a knowledge. There’s no way that you could have made a comment that there is an association and some type of assertion. In most things, you have to back it up by studies. And in this particular case, we all know how medicine is. Medicine is evolving.”

Dalrymple emailed us a partial transcript indicating Jones was responding to a question about if data shows an established link between football and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a specific progressive degenerative disease of the brain:

REPORTER: “No data, in your mind, to have a relationship between CTE and playing football?”

JONES: “No, that’s absurd. There’s no data that in any way creates knowledge. There’s no way that you can have made a comment that there’s an association or some type of assertion.”

Hear how Jones’ claim scored in the player above.