The NFL has been plagued with controversy in the past decade. Everything from Ray Rice’s domestic violence accusations to Michael Vick’s conviction of facilitating the gruesome act of dog fighting, it hasn't been easy for Roger Goodell to keep a hold of his league.
The NFL announced that it would be replacing their longtime, controversial medical adviser Elliot Pellman. A new full-time Chief Medical Officer will fulfill his position. Pellman’s retirement does not come as a surprise to a lot of NFL fans and followers.
His retirement comes after a 30 year career with the NFL. He served as the team doctor of the New York Jets and was the chair of one of the NFL’s research arms concerning the Traumatic Brain Injury controversies.
The criticism from the medical community regarding Elliot Pellman resides in the fact that he’s a Rheumatologist. His specialization never really made sense to people, especially the families of players who suffered TBI’s under his watch. Patrons of the NFL have been calling for changes in their medical leadership for a long time.
Now, the NFL and Rodger Goodell have insured that qualified doctors will be in positions of power, helping players and families get what they need after a concussion or TBI occurs on the field. As science progresses and the NFL realizes that TBI’s and concussions are a serious issue more personnel have been employed to help bring forth solutions. Independent scientists’ findings that football is linked to brain damage were the main motivation for replacing him.
Outside The Lines revealed that Dr. Pellman had been embellishing his credentials. He didn’t even go to medical school in the United States. After several lies and unfortunate situations with players it was revealed that not only was he under qualified for such a high level position, he was actually operating illegally.
The NFL was criticized for not performing due diligence as well as just “leaving him there” for 30 years even though he was responsible for several serious injuries after players had reported for care.
A congressional report in May concluded that the NFL had placed the National Institutes of Health under pressure to strip 16 million dollars in projects from a Boston University research center. They also tried to redirect the cash flow to the committee on Brain Injuries, which Pellman was part of.