Not an organization known for pulling punches, PETA has come out with a new campaign against the NFL for allegedly funding experiments on dogs, mice, rats, and other animals at universities such as Harvard, UCLA, and Notre Dame in an apparent attempt to develop new treatment methods for sports injuries.
These projects, many of which are ongoing, are crudely designed to recreate injuries on the football field. They have involved inflicting severe knee injuries on dogs, after which the animals are killed and have their legs cut off; repeatedly slamming heavy weights into rats' heads to create brain and spinal cord injuries and skull fractures; and cutting open the heads of mice and delivering crushing blows to cause traumatic brain injuries. Many animals have even died during the studies because of the severe injuries that they sustained.
In addition to these experiments being cruel, studies have shown that they do not accurately replicate the complex injuries sustained by football players, and data and treatments derived from brain-injury experiments on animals have repeatedly failed to help human patients.