« Freakonomics Radio

431. Why Can’t Schools Get What the N.F.L. Has?

2020-09-10 | 🔗

Thanks to daily Covid testing and regimented protocols, the new football season is underway. Meanwhile, most teachers, students, and parents are essentially waiting for the storm to pass. And school isn’t even a contact sport (usually).

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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It's your wise dot com, slash economics, after months of planning and negotiating and establishing a covert nineteen protocol, the National Football League was rolling along they decided to skip. Crises and games which no one really likes anyway and by late July, all thirty two teams were deep into training camp. Every single person was given a covert test every day, every player and coach in trainer and team employee, and so far only a handful of tested, positive miraculously it looked like the season would start as scheduled on September tenth, but then one morning in late August, it all seemed to be going sideways seventy seven total people for it more players and thirty three club employees tested positive, that's Doktor Tom mayor it's a nightmare scenario.
Clear when you start here that mayor whose background is in emergency medicine was when the command physicians at the Pentagon rescue operation on nine eleven. Now he is the chief medical officer of the NFL Players Association, the union that represents the players. These positive covered results mayor says, started with we're done on Steelers the Pittsburgh Steelers. It turned out we're just one of eleven teams that had positive covert results. We locked up, Irish down and the down. How did mayor first hear news of those seventy seven positive coded tests. I gotta call MIKE my counterpart with the Unifil, telling me that this is we're. Looking at his counterpart is adopted, named Alan Silks, made. Professor of nursery had been about university medical Center and the chief medical officer for the national football. The way you think oh lord- this is the beginning of the end, our thinking,
as we go into a protocol which says we immediately isolate every one of those individuals. Do the confirmatory test start the contact tracing process. I asked Tom Mayor if he thought the positive tests meant the season. Maybe over before could begin now. As we prepare for so carefully and I hate to hark back to the the Pentagon. A nine eleven about disaster preparedness is just that. It's scenario planning for the worse Here's disaster were to occur, but is the league kicked into their Kovac protocol? Isolating the players who tested positive tracing their contacts, Cetera the seventy seven positive test results started to look fishing as we started diving into it. Our testing partner This is five different laboratories around the country to run our specimens. Remember, positive tests came from eleven different teens, each of whom was holding train, camp in their own home towns, because the NFL didn't set up a bubble. The weighty NBA did in the cover,
tests from all eleven of those teams. All one of those teams go to one single lab, so that starts to re suspicion and none of those players. Coaches are staff had any symptoms. When I learned was eleven clubs abated all going to the same facility in New Jersey within seconds on things, this has got to be a ladder. These Gov gotta be false positives. Why Would there be an outbreak like that with twelve the vikings intended? The bears just doesn't make sense as went through the confirmatory steps. All seventy seven of those tests did not confer that they have repeat, testing done. It was negative. We repeated to different tests and every one of those individuals had a negative, follow up tests. Yes, it was an error at the lab. Yes, the seventy seven positive test results turn out to be false positives, so no the NFL was not dealing with a covert nineteen outbreak. Today, I'm freaking. What happens if or maybe when there is a real outbreak,
in the end, a found now that the season is beginning and if you're, let's say a schoolteacher in New York City, how jealous are you of the NFL Rapid Response Protocol daily testing? Is it worth the risk for you to go back to work as well, everything depends on the I know what most football players make and its equivalent of an entire teachers lifetime earnings- from stature and Gunnar productions? This is Reaganomics, radio, the and explores the inside of everything. Here's your Stephen definite,
So let me just say on behalf of all those who enjoy watching the NFL or playing fantasy football or betting real money on football. Thanks for what seems to be having a season pretty close to ready to go, yes We were very close and its happened and step by step by step to negotiated set of protocols. That again, is Tom Mayor the NFL Players Union are processed started back in March. We started meeting with a joint task force together with the Unifil Players Association and that's Alan fills from the NFL when we say
The NFL, without really means is the leagues, thirty, two teams or clubs as they like to call themselves, which really means the thirty two owners or ownership groups, the players. Meanwhile, fifty three on a team: thirty two teams plus injured and an active player. So roughly two thousand people they are the labour. You could therefore think of the inner fell p, a the players Union like a teachers union or an automakers or coal minors union, but there are a lot of differences and I fell players make more money, but have shorter careers are more prone to injury and are a bit more visible than your average teacher. They also play in a league that makes
so much money that its resources can seem unlimited least compared your local school system. That said, the relationship between the players Union and the league has often been adversarial over concussions or race relations, and more so, I asked Tom mayor whether his relationship with Alan Sills had been adversarial is professional. Not professional well sounds like. There is quite a bit in that word professional. Well, we don't always free, but we make every effort to make sure that we're not disagreeable I'd sure like to State Department, says we have frank and open discussion. It means a rip, somebody's lungs out, I'm not saying, after all we have a very good and- and but it's a professional relationship. Collegial is Alan cells was saying the process of negotiating the NFL covered protocols started back. In March, we had a number of sub unit task forces,
a different areas. When I say we, I don't mean me or my counterparts into Play association. Only we brought in scores of experts from infectious disease, epidemiology, public health laboratory medicine, all these different areas to try to help was design and prepare. What we think is the most up. To date, information. We talked a darker to mad scientist who work for the Defense department. And we looked at the marine recruitment depots, the closest thing to what we might see and, after all those conversations, what did the NFL play this association recommend we had recommended There be in essence a bubble. We called it a time limited sake compartment. Oh, you wanted a real bubble like the NBA is having like the jealous. Having at least for a time limited period to get our feet under to get the measurements done to get them this line understood and to help people and and this is what is at stake in terms of what you bring into that building is going to affect yourself. Your family
your teammates and a game of football. Now, where would that bubble have been because. The NBA there's only fourteen or fifteen, on gonna roster, and they didn't even take all thirty teams into the bubble. The NFL has thirty two teams. Fifty three guys on aroused her? Where would you have found a big in a place to have a bubble for all those teams and players in coaches what we met and that's why we used the term time limited save compartment. Instead, a bubble is, they would have been at the club facilities, so there would have been thirty two bubbles but Everyone who went into that building would not leave that building for two to four week period. To make sure the virus didn't come in now fell facilities, even the best in the most beautiful day, don't have living facilities, at least as far as I know. Where would you have put people hotels, who tells her Jason to it. So you'd have buses. It would in the bus drivers should be tested?
the buses would be white down. The hotels would have had locked down floors in some cases, lockdown hotels, somewhat, so or to the NBA. I don't You stand why the NFL would have been against the bubble. What would it cost them? You know at them, that one of the three guiding principles for the interval, Pierre is we'll go anywhere, the science taxes and nowhere the science doesn't take us, and so when people with the ETA fell would say, bottles, don't work plan Show me the data in God. We trust everybody else must bring scientific data and no doubt it was put forward here again is Alan fills the leagues chief medical officer bodily is a matter that we didn't like the idea. I would say that our committees did look at many different scenarios and looked at the manages and disadvantages of each because again, there are no perfect scenarios in there also no perfect models of how to prevent outbreaks, and so I think the groups that looked at this tried to look at them
medical data. They looked at what's been happening in other leagues in situations around the world where people have gone back to sports competitions and they tried to balance. What helps us mitigated This can keep everyone safe with what are the practical realities for, in our case really a seven month long process? And if you look at the end, hell season from the start of training camp in through the universe of our about seven calendar months, but we arrived at a situation and we're calling sort of a virtual football bubble, which means that when our players, coaches and staff or together insider facility, everyone's operating under the same protocol there, all under the same testing and screening. There are the same people requirements, etc, and then, when they, Leave those facilities were asking them to make consistent choices based on education that we ve, provided, I think, if you like, a really in the bottom line, it's impossible to keep people locked in one location over seven months period. We think there is substantial mental health and other challenges. With that model, this is a risk mitigation, a risk elimination of
and we know that a prompt, ok, you ve got thirty two teams every anybody who comes into the facility every day takes the test. How does the press The thing happened. How is it shipped? How fast you get the results it? They fell because it's their duty as the employer to provide a safe environment, so they're paying for them, and we demand getting a return within twenty four hours again, because we need to know if somebody's positive they gotta, be pulled out of their environment, so they're not spreading the bars Tom mayor. Things have himself as essentially the family doctor to ever. The NFL player in their families. My practice is twenty. Five hundred players now multiply that their spouse or significant other. So now you got five and then added their kids. In many cases. Their parents, so I get ten thousand people in my practice at least, it set up as a benefit. If you will
so that they can get somebody on the horn that they trust immediately to Your questions, ranging from the bike, wished My kid has a heart murmur who should I go, see I was given a k and was abnormal. Who should I talked to his primary patients. The players are all male, mostly very young and, of course, extraordinarily athletic, but this does not exclude them from the cuban nineteen risk poor. We know that, if you're after American, if Europe why an islander or hispanic your risk is higher b My over twenty eight that's about eighty percent. Am I over thirty is about sixty two percent of the league, then you get down into patients who have established cardiac disease who ve got model severe asthma, hoof or have had cancer in the past. Six
dont disease and things like that today, sixty nine players have decided to opt out of this season because of the corona virus, if you get a medical, opt out, then bureau, three hundred fifty thousand dollars, it was one time payment and you got credit for what we call accredited season. As if you had played in your bed that's in retirement all the issues, with the words that money Coming from that monies, from the leak, so any player can say I've just I'm not. I don't have a medical reasons, but I'm not play some just to do this, because their parents were ill. They get paid a hundred. Fifty thousand in that one hundred fifty thousand is an advance on the salary for next year, Howard, the opt out treated were they seen as less loyal, less manly with less anything, they were viewed as less reviewed as men, whom
decision on behalf of themselves on behalf of their families and meaning You're grown ass men who get educated, and make grown ass decisions in some decided to play and some decided not to play talk about power players and others are coming every day to the facility and then what they're doing what the protocol calls for. What's the testing, etc, etc. So testing is daily and in its own people who are coming under that facility. So anyone is walking into that Billy detested, got any contact with the players we felt. Very strongly that there had to be daily testing why the risk is false. Niggers, negative, of course, says you're negative, but in fact your positive so you're walking into building spreading the virus we needed to close that whole seizing the daily testing mitigate against false negative. Absolutely. But if you take
juicy treader our present as a centre for the brass he's got Sampson, so he lines up across Pittsburgh. Steelers knows tackle twice a year in the question becomes: what's the risk of either I see, or the nose tackle, spreading the virus to each other answer, of course is? It depends if neither J C nor the nose tackle virus and are shutting the virus, the risk zero in people talk about this much but to individuals if they were the only ones they came in contact with, I mean it. Swaps not bear down in the trenches blown in each other's spaces. Now, if you got ok right guard for the browns is estimating the bars need under four equation so there, why testing is link in the chain that is so critical for us. So what happens next is their country tracing, and what do you know about how the virus was transmitted to those who got it?
so contact. Yes, absolutely so if someone test positive, even if that's a false their isolated immediately contacted. Facing happens in three ways, number one. We contact the local health department and do their contact racing number two. We have a company called. I cuvier that does are injured, surveillance form, concussions for law, extremity injuries, Raul Injuries in Vienna fell, but they also do contact tracing than they ve done this with governments they lock on an international swords, not Newton and then third is we have. A tracking device connects on that every day, in that building puts all and not just the players, but the staff. MRS well to respond and it gives us an electronic signature of where they were and understand The players had a concern about big, and tracking, outside of the building and what they're doing it all that kind of stuff, which is not a football player
turn a human being concern? your mentioning all these resources in partnerships that the NFL is using to make this environment sustained. DARPA, the Marines, I Cuvier, and this sounds like what should be happening throughout society, but it's not, and so I think about if I'm a school, administrator or if I run a nursing, home or really any kind of institutional facility. I think well why, Is the NFL doing this this way and we're not, and obviously, You guys are well resourced, and We do have a tradition of discipline and military issue, precision and hierarchy, which can be useful to get people to follow instructions, but still do you ever look at what you are doing an express some surprise that this sort of protocol, it is not being more widely copied. We. I also take some pride in putting essentially
An ecosystem implies that is a very effective or so far appears. The very effective ecosystem to shut, the virus or to limit its transmission. We think there's a lot, but that communities that, even at the federal level, can learn from this now to be fair if everybody in the, U S, got tested every we'd run out to test a lot faster than we have there'd be less capacity than there is there be longer weights is there any level at which either you guys feel a little? guilty, or you ve, gotten push back from the community on how many, medical resources, your consuming. You know some your teams are in places where the corona virus has really taken off in the last couple months in Florida in Texas, Hospital facilities have been getting close to capacity. Do you feel like maybe your consuming medical resources, at least potentially there that that may be taken away from others. Were
Are you aware of that very sensitive to that? I'm on the phone with Euston, where Miami gain with brown county with all the hot spots at least twice a week? We made it clear that if we got a place, we were sucking resources, testing resources in particular away from a community that we need to rethink that shut down football. That too, tell me what you learned about the false positive incident? What was the mistaken? How is it made the mistake? when the samples come in their put under a hood, a bio security. Hood and the samples are transferred into a rack, and then the rat goes into the machine it. So what was found was that the hood was contaminated. And the reason I was contaminated was because lab was mixing samples from now on, and I fell sources and they'll sources and putting them on the same rack. Look false positives are
usually, then false negatives for sure? But if I hear that one of the major labs and I'm using for this daily testing to get the NFL going into their season has made an error that to allay personally me sounds avoidable. What we threw you thinking on that and what you have been able to do to ensure that testing will be reliable, key question, and it is what happened when how and for what reasons. Once, we knew there next question is very simple: what are you going to do to assure that this never happens again, and their answers were women, I'm going to mix up- and I fell samples with the general population and positively in the general population- much higher. Because they're not being screened like ours are daily. I guess
It was a fire jewel for you, though it absolutely was that again is the leagues chief medical officer, Alan Sills. Their clubs had to go, do the contact tracing process they had to think about how would affect them, and so it was really good opportunity to see our protocols, inaction and to see how they would affect us. As we were approaching a game day, were there any mistakes or problems in following the protocol? During the false positives scare know, our clubs did a terrific job. Immediately did what they're supposed to do isolated all the individuals, in some cases, teams delayed or cancelled practices to make sure that we had them jolted hand. So I was very pleased with the response and we got better I mean as a result of this episode are testing protocols improved our laboratory procedures have improved. What's the name of the lab and you plan to continue to use him, yeah is vital, reference laboratories, international lab company and overall, they ve done a terrific job. I mean, as of today, we ve done over two hundred thousand covert tests and the overwhelming job
they have been seamless and we're very pleased that in this situation they worked together with us and the Players Association, two aggressively address this and to investigate what happened and to try to identify ways we can prevented in the future. Can you talk about the fact that football self the playing thereof, would seem to be an awesome opportunity for trend, bidding the virus. So what kind of risk mitigation is the NFL doing? to actually counter that. So what are you you ve done is really gone back and re imagined in reinvented every aspect of their operations through his limbs of what can we do to mitigate risk by far the best We can do in turn on feel play is to make sure that everyone who arrives too the field is not infected. I think that. Secondly,
there are mitigation efforts you can take during the competition we ve been working with Oakley on a mouth shields product. It's an extended face. Shield is miles off the medical typeface deals that are worn by our healthcare providers. I think you'll see some I am using a net gator out on the feel that they pull up over knows and mouth I think, you'll, see some players using a net gator out on the feel that they pull up over knows and mouth. We seem teams limit the amount of time that people spend around I think I would say: is that its fortunate for us that our sports or play in an open air environment, speaking of all that open air that surrounds football field, Some nfl team owners want to admit fans to the stance at twenty five percent of capacity, because twenty five percent of revenue from tickets and concessions more than zero percent?
asked Tom Mayor how the Players Union thinks about fans in the stands. Well, from the mangoes perspective, the risk to the players is just call. It acts say when you put fans understands- and I don't think there Stands or necessary for football. The risk goes up The question is: how much does it go up with a group of people who are probably not going to be wearing masks all the time, because apparently somebody people drink beer and he popcorn- and can't do that with the mass and some of these people are screaming and yellow, so we're not it against that? We just want to make sure that done very carefully, very thoughtfully and in a way where they don't come in contact with the parts. So let's say that I am a member of the New York Football Giants and we're having no fans in our homes stadium, but that they were playing a road game against the Houston texts into the Dallas. Cowboys and Texas has a different view of these things and,
let's say the New York Giants. Ownership agrees to play in that Texas Stadium with, let's say, twenty five percent capacity, but I come to you now say Tom. You know, I'm not comfortable going there with twenty thirty thousand people. So what happens with that kind of difference of opinion, so that's gonna have to be bargain. Collectively we ve been very clear that if our play feel unsafe at any for any reason going on the field. Then they should never be punished or in any way they held a cat. For saying this equation has changed for me. I no longer feel safe on the field. Coming up after the break? We hear from former NFL player, whose also held top jobs with the NFL Players Union and the NBA Players Union, he will get in to the relationship between the NFL and its players. In short, we are no people in our lives that we dont trust and if they tell you the skies
you gotta check and if covert nineteen doesn't derail the new NFL season? Is there something else that might occur coin forever? Devastation it's coming up ran after this? Economics, radio sponsored by a vast, a vast, the global leader in cyber security trusted by over four hundred and thirty five million users, a vast has privacy solutions keep your identity and actions. Hidden security solutions. Stop malware fishing and virus attacks and performance? dancing. Solutions to clean up and speed up your devices of asked empowers you to feel safe, private, more confident online. Do what do you? want to do in your connected life, shop, work and browse confidently. All your devices learn more about a vast privacy, security and performance products at a vast thought, come.
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enjoy Heineken zero zero with whatever you want to do today. Now you can Tom Mayor Games If medical officer for the NFL Players Association, nearly twenty years ago August, two thousand one Corey Strata for the Vikings died of each stroke and you think housing remotely past or even twenty years ago, Fernanda fell player to die of heat stirrup. This was during training camp shouldn't have happened protocol should In place and work at that time, the league itself didn't get its own chief medical officer until two thousand and seventeen when it hired Alan sills. His job covers arrange of responsibilities. One is to work with our team medical staff. And to assist them as they are providing care for players, coaches and staff at their respective teams. I also help
security and evaluating our injury data and looking for opportunities to improve health and safety around the league. And then we also work with a number of strong researchers who performing work that will improve safety of athletes, not just in the Unifil, but in all levels of sport. At the very least, it was not a good look for the NFL it took the league so long to hire. Someone like seals for years of we could it or outright denied the link between football and brain injury. This fact is not lost on any fell players present in past there's. Just an air of distrust makes everything harder than a shipping. That's Dominic Fox worth these days. He is a writer and broadcaster for ESPN, and before that I was president of the universe, where Association and from their went on
school after that and was chief operating officer for the NBA Players Association and before all that, you pleads in football player, should included that play an animal for seven years for a very different thing. Fox worth last year as a player with two thousand eleven, I asked him how the historic relationship between the NFL and the Players Association influenced the negotiated protocols for Coventry team, so the joy we all know people and our lives that we dont trust and if they tell you, the skies blue, you gotta check and that's the situation that you have in the end I fell and the end of opiates relationship is if their bring something to the table. Where lay the what's up with this
it makes it more complicated and I think they probably feel the same way about the union when the union files grievance or is upset about something the ledge. I know the late reacts like man had to go again, trying to make everything. Fights to in terms of the negotiated protocol that they set up for daily covert test, thing and all kinds of other procedures were what do you know or what have you heard about distrust from the players side that either the testing is accurate and for complete an offer that the protection are good enough, etc. While I think that the player through comfortable and coffee but the testing. Now, at the beginning, the negotiations, the late, was not trying to test every day, and they were issues by the players got to a point where they were comfortable with it, accepted it when you were a player, if we had said in the interest of optimal safety, we're gonna make above
and we want you Dominic to commit to being in this bubble from let's say the beginning of July, until the end of December, without family, without friends etc. Would you ve done that as a player, absolute back, most blurs what also whatever chief motivation is been ever be it? I can earn money they're gonna change, her financial trajectory of your family or two when it championship. You ship, you understand that these opportunities are fleeting and, if I may so many sacrifices as big as so it seems it a smaller comparison, other life's worth of sacrifices made to get to this point, you just talk about the way your standard and fell player thinks about risk in general and how that might differentiate their willingness to go back with covert as a risk verses, let's say teachers or an automaker. I figure myself as a pretty
cautious and thoughtful person when it comes to making decisions. But I think that football players in General- and I have to come to terms with this like we are risky. There's a sorting process that happens throughout labelling. You get to the highest of of football without being comfortable was acting against your own self interest. So, like just idea of tackling somebody like Let me throw my body into another body like that is a level of risk that you have to become comfortable with, or you were born comfortable with that. Just most other people aren't there's some level of risk that all football players are comfort within covet, I'm not sure tips that risk for most play then you have another action so as we speak, teachers in New York City are discussing going on strike because of what they perceive as unsafe workplace conditions in their schools. There not convinced that there is enough testing and safety to proceed. Why do you think?
the inner fellows had so much less friction with its labour force. Is it that its doing a better job? Obviously it's hard to equate. These populations. There are a lot of differences, but still, why do you think one is working out relatively well. As of this point, the others got so much friction o without being embedded in either of organizations. I would say the incentives are different, but I know it teaches make in New York and one year, but it's probably not worth risking your house. I know what most football players make and its equivalent of an entire teachers lifetime earning. So for some players, it's worth that and they won't get that time back for someone whose has a seven year career like me, which would be considered a long career like that, is a lot of your lifetime earnings because, whatever job you have to that is not going to make a one year as a teacher you're not going to deteriorate,
as a teacher, and not be able to get paid going forward, but one year football player- there's a whole another crop of workers coming in to take your job and you may not have that value ever again after I spoke with funds, Fourth, the New York City Teachers Union decided to not straight after the city, agreed to delay in person learning by eleven days. They the only major? U S, school district, to commit to restarting in person this fall. The current plan in New York is for just ten to twenty percent of students and teachers to be tested once a month How much may be? How well do you think the NFL cares about the health and welfare of its players on us? It's a question because, back in my days of being president of the end of upwards social, I was a lot more militant and hard line and said that they don't care at all and they view us as colleagues in a machine.
Now I dont believe that's completely true also don't believe is completely false. I think that there is some empathy there and they care to some degree, but I don't like any of us. There is a priority stack and Making money is higher priority, stacked and health and safety of their Blair's history as pretty much borne out to be a fact is when a decision needs to be made the first filter it goes. There was how's it going to impact our pockets. The next filter after that is potentially best case scenario the next day after that is how we are going to impact our place in history, you talking about is primarily around concussions in the NFL denial of concussion in brain injury is a product of football. I think that's the biggest one, that everyone knows about the name, I have been in the leg, recognises how it works on a day to day basis, even when its joint send ligaments and muscles, and not necessarily your
Brain. You know that the team is permeates all the way back to college. It's just about the culture of football. You get out there and you play no matter what, if you're capable, then you go. Can you give an example from your own career? Were eighteen put your value as a player ahead of euro value as a human within injuring her potential injury saw. The tough thing is also, did I'm recognised how fragile professional sports career is? especially if you're not a number one overall pick in your, not a big star, which I was, and I recognize how fragile it was. So it felt like we're on the same team when the doctors in the trainers were offering. Any thing to give me back on a field. I was like yeah you're right, let's get back on the field and so that culture exist for all of us and it's unhealthy like literally physically unhealthy- and it's probably
actually unhealthy by bandits. One wants an affair chief medical officer, Alan Sills, before going to work for the league spent much of his career studying and treating sports related brain injuries. So I asked him to talk about player safety, especially in light of the leagues history. With concussions, so this is obviously a long in contorted history, but that did not exactly give the NFL credibility boost when it came to landmark medical issues. So what do you, as chief medical officer now say to people whether its players, families of the players, the public who might think you know that the NFL was on the wrong side of history, then, and there concerned about it being on the right side of history in covered, Eighteen I can tell you my personal experience as I was going through the interview process, I have the same exact question that you just raised, which is
is the NFL really committed to health and safety? Is it a top priority and I ass, tat of everyone I talk to, including in up to the commission the League do we. Want to really be leader. In sports medicine, and do the things that are supported by medical data and science, and he unequivocal. We said yes and for me that my hiring was part of that commitment to lead the in a field where science was going, whether that be in concur. In soft tissue injuries are certainly, then no one could have foreseen covert and I can say, since that date back in two thousand seventeen. I found that to be the case I have found that at every level and the executive team owners, coaches. Anyone has turned to me and not said we can't do that or we don't want to hear about that. They said tell us what the data shows we want to make the game safer for everyone. Have you seen whether its among players or maybe, coaches or trainers. Any remnant of that past, though the macho past, where you know, take a shot patched up, get back in there or
Do you really think the by in is is complete as you so I think the buyer. It's really been remarkable, there's been a sea change in the reporting of injuries and certainly around concussion, in the recognition that that's a serious injury and our players. They really grew up with a concussion protocol. Since they were in high school or college. These concepts have been part of their experience, and so it's a natural thing for them. So we ve seen For example, the number of concussion evaluations that have a component of self report mean that the player themselves reported it or a culture, a team. I brought it to attention. That number has continued to grow up and has been substantial. Let me get back to covet for a minute. So as a doctor, I'm sure, unless Europe, She answered totally atypical that you have a lot of experience with non compliance patients not doing the things that you
A doktor or some other medical professional tells them to including taking medication and so on. I am just curious with the NFL, because it does have kind of vestiges of military hierarchy and so on, but do you think that your success so or is related to the fact that maybe NFL players and staff are pretty good at complying and whether you think this says anything about the degree to which personal responsibility and compliance needs to Who change a little bit as opposed to relying on the institutions, the government etc, to fix things I think responsibility in compliance is the key factor to why the Unifil or any other organisation is going to be successful tests, don't prevent disease There are about disease, diagnosis and containment. What prevents you from becoming sick are those intervene, you'll choices and behaviors that you display throughout the corset.
Today are you wearing a mass? Are you staying physically distant? Are you washing hands? Are you staying away from sick people? Are you of wooden gatherings? You know all those choices that individuals back in an hour situation, there not only making them at the team facility, but when their away from the facility. Those are absolutely key the success of the programme. How many positive test truly positive tests? Would it take to shut down a team in or the league, and I guess what I'm really getting at is. What do you think is going to happen when the season starts its hard to give you number and saves this many. I think it depends on how their distributed in depends on many close contacts got, makes it hard to have algorithm, where you say it's this mini or that many. I think what we just have to. As we will, monitor the situation very much in real time and will make its best and safest possible decision for everyone involved I asked Tom Mayor, the Players Union doctor if he thought the NFL season would be completed for
I would say in Lincoln, speak for itself, but their goal is to play all two hundred. Fifty six. Aims on time and deploy the play. And the Superbowl the first Sunday in February and tap. That's not Michael Michael KIDS, player sake, could be a situation where a certain clubs have but say it was ten or twelve players and go positive Perhaps they don't play this weekend. Perhaps there has to be postponed. Until the next weekend pray That's the season has the last longer in order to accommodate all two hundred fifty six games. Then the playoffs- I used to live in himself order, tempers pretty nice. In April, you could play a super bowl in temper. An ape As much as possible, maintaining scrambled the future for the NFL, along with the rest of us in the future.
Also being reshaped by police shootings of black men, the resulting protests and broader discussions about race, nearly sixty percent of all NFL players. Our black. The vast majority of team owners and senior executives, meanwhile, are white as our a majority and not wait as fast of the leagues coaches fuel there's goes San Francisco. Forty nine escorted by calling cabinet coup is by racial took me, The national anthem to protest, police brutality, Capron Ex protest, fed a movement, but the NFL itself did not join the movement. Capron wound up out of football, and the issue of racial quality wound up back on the margins this year, things are different. This year the NFL is paying attention along with the players union. They have issued a joint directive on social justice initiatives. There
closing all club facilities on election day, for instance, there giving players more platforms to talk about Reese equity? I asked for NFL player and Union President Dominic Fox worth? Who is black? What he thought about and officials evolution the NFL back in June said that it was going to donate turn and fifty million dollars to help fight systemic racism and the money is going to different or musicians, including the National Urban League, big brothers, big sisters of America, the United Negro College Fund. Let's talk about this and what you think of that payment as representative of the league's view of social justice, political justice, race and so on, we all have some responsibility towards making
the country they live in more perfect. I think some more responsibility should fall on those who have perpetuated the problems and an think anyone can argue with the way that the NFL handled the culling cabinet protests that they perpetuated the problems, situation, and so it's hard for me to know what money are amount of engagement, will wipe away whatever guilty should feel, but two Two million dollars doesn't seem like enough to me. So why did George Floyd and the attendant protests get the NFL detentions.
So much more than common cabinet did. We all exist in this broader society and I think that's what made it different is because of all of us being quarantine and because of the video being so visceral the entire country change it felt and in that beneficial felt the water around them heating up. So they just want to go where the money is in the money, in their view, was away from controversy, When I asked you about the money, you said that it doesn't seem to be the amount it would necessarily wipe away their guilt. I think I was being generous bus and guilt and asked whether they feel guilty. I think it's said clans, their image more than anything to to wipe away the judgment and the perception that they are enemies of progress, which is what it say. My back, then, if you
could say to Roger Godot and if a commissioner look look to fifty million dollars, that's great and I'm sure it could be weapons used, but it also A not that much money and be it's. You know directing money too places that are already doing this kind of thing, but if you could tell him that there were, let's say three things and if I could actually do to address this, what would you suggest? I think the first thing they could do is probably address their own issues with race. Scott observed that there isn't a black owner of a team. It's hard to look at outside whirling wished her dress that when you don't fix the problem site, but I do think that the league is no stranger to politics and lobbying to get the things that they want to get the money that they want do they want, I think they should adopt some policies that would show that there were serious about this are forty. Is one
becomes my mind alive as a cause for the government to study and develop a reparations plan, not necessarily instituted, but to study and develop it. I think every right minded person would understand there needs to be some repairing done so think that would go a long way. If then, I've got the something like that. So if I ask you is the NFL racist? What's your answer that. I know more than like I feel like most american institutions are so I may not say yes, but I'm trying to think of some major american institutions that aren't and I'm having a time. So recently, Dominique NBA teams set out a game play off game to protest. The most recent police shooting of a black man
the double NBA and Emma less did a similar action. Some nfl players set out a practice, but because the NFL not in season, yet it's obviously not gonna get as much attention. What are you be happening on that front, as the season starts Pretty amazing, where we ve gotten sense. The cabinet protests because I at this moment thing if something were to happen, if there was another police involved, shooting it's on videotape or maybe not on video tape and just seems to have some racial implications. I'd be surprised if we have games that Sunday I'd be shocked if they show up, I think
to understand what lovers you haven't tools you have to achieve the means that are most important for you and that's one of the things. That's been incredibly encouraging about the empathy that professional athletes have and the civic responsibility that they have because as a member of two of the major sports unions and having then, a part of some labour strife where players were fighting for higher salaries are better health care, for them cells in those situations they were unwilling to go under, right or unwilling to withstand the losses of a lock up, mine blowing to me that they are willing to do that now for something that does not affect them as directly as that
economics of Lee, let's pretend that you and I knew the future little bit and that the NFL season began. But after whatever couple weeks a couple months, it shut down. What do you think is more likely that it would have shut down because of justice issues or because of corona virus issues I'll see a certain down for either honestly, because I think justice issues, they'll, follow the lead of basketball it'll be a week grown a virus, though just replace the players, because the players, their names, are as important as are basketball. I guess, if the pandemic just get so out of control that it engulfed all country again, then dagger bring it to a halt, and I guess this- I think I'd be said for justice issues of it and flames to the point where we have tens of thousands of people in the streets in all major cities. Again, I could see it coming to an so. It's a coin flow of Data
patient, irresponsible and either is not possible thanks who Dominic Fox worth Ellen Sills and Tom Mayor forgiveness. This most unusual a preview of the new and fell season. We publish transfer all our embassies, and so, if you want to look up what someone said were check out, the digital resources just go to freak anaemic, not come. We will be back next week until then to carry yourself and if you can, someone else to freedoms. Radio is produced by sticker in Dublin productions. This episode was produced by married, Duke our staff also includes Ellison, Craig Little Gregg Ribbon, Zack Le Pen, Ski Matt, Hickey, Daphne Chin and Korean Wallace in turn is immaterial. We had help this week from James Foster or theme. Song is MR fortunate hitchhikers. All the other music was composed by Luis Ghana. You can get free.
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Transcript generated on 2020-09-10.