Seahawks team owner Paul Allen sets an example for his peers in the National Football League.
His foundation last week announced a two-year, $2.4 million grant to fund scientific research into the long-term effects of traumatic brain injuries.
Experts at the University of Washington and the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle will lead an expansive effort to better understand the consequences for those NFL players who regularly bash into each other during games. The research will also examine head injuries suffered by non-athletes and war veterans.
Allen’s donation is a drop in the bucket, but it should inspire other teams and owners to kick in some of their own funds to the cause.
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The league has been slow to address growing concerns over the safety of the game. In August, NFL officials agreed to a $765 million settlement with thousands of former players who complained of persistent neurological problems caused by repeated head concussions.
Allen stands apart for tackling a serious issue, but there’s more to be done.
By emulating the latest investment, other NFL owners would stand to gain value and credibility with fans who increasingly care about balancing game-time thrills and the long-term health of athletes.