New York Times will not retract story on NFL concussion research

1:01 | NFL
NFL requests retraction of New York Times story on concussion research
Wednesday March 30th, 2016

The New York Times will not retract an article published last week outlining issues with the NFL’s concussion research.

The Times sent a letter to the NFL on Wednesday to notify the league that it will not issue a retraction or a correction. The Times shared the letter with Politico.

The NFL requested Tuesday that “the story immediately be retracted” because it was “false and defamatory.”

A lawyer for the Times wrote that the paper does correct factual errors, but the NFL’s letter does not “identify any factual error that we have made in our reporting on the ties between the NFL and the tobacco industry.”

The Times article also drew connections between the NFL and the tobacco industry’s history of downplaying the negative long-term health effects of cigarettes. The investigation also identified a number of flaws with several concussion studies promoted by the league in the past. 

“While your earlier letter to The Times called the tobacco industry ‘perhaps most odious industry in American history,’ you somehow fail to mention in either letter that it was your firm that represented Philip Morris in that RICO case,” the Times wrote at the end of its letter to the league. 

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.