Elizabeth Nabel says she won't be NFL's first chief medical officer
Brigham and Women's Hospital president Elizabeth Nabel will not be joining the NFL as its first chief medical officer, Nabel said in a statement on Sunday.
"I want to assure you that I have no intention of leaving our beloved Brigham," said Nabel, who emphasized her commitment to the Boston facility. "I am committed to our mission and vision and consider it an honor and a privilege to lead this great institution."
Nabel said in her statement that she and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell have been discussing a possible advisory role for her.
Earlier, Bloomberg News reported that Nabel would be named the NFL's first-ever chief medical officer, a new position created by the league intended to make football safer. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced the new position during his Jan. 30 state of the league address.
The chief medical officer's responsibilities will include overseeing the NFL's medical policies and working with players, medical personnel and others to continually update the league's healthy and safety guidelines.
“There’s more to do on player health and safety,” Goodell said at the press conference, according to Bloomberg. “Carefully reviewing and approving our concussion protocols will be a focus of our medical committees this offseason.”
In recent years, the NFL has come under increasing scrutiny regarding its procedures for dealing with players' head injuries. Numerous retired NFL players have been shown to have cognitive issues, including problems triggered by chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.
In light of revelations about the close relationship between football and concussions -- as well as repeated subconcussive blows, which NFL players regularly sustain -- the league has moved to improve player safety by placing increased emphasis on rules designed to avoid dangerous hits and avoidable violence. The NFL has also advocated for youth concussion laws, which exist in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Last July, a federal judge gave preliminary approval to a $765 million concussion injuries settlement for approximately 25,000 retired players and their relatives.
This story has been updated with Nabel's statement that she will not be the NFL's chief medical officer.