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-- joining us right now.
Talk fade route Wada and Steve -- Aristide -- not -- you -- -- this -- -- that you walk before we would do in the Barry Bonds book.
Ought do you have a brand new book out it's doing great it's -- -- of denial the NFL concussions in the battle for the truth.
And -- -- now with the European but you guys were in the eye of the storm when it come to the first big steroid scandal the -- Balco scandal I would say the first of probably the biggest.
The Balco scandal can give me an idea -- how you got involved in this first more.
Sure we you know I was -- -- a story for ESPN about.
Former Minnesota Vikings player named Fred -- he would.
He had played about a dozen years in the league and subsequent to getting out he became a lawyer.
And and he was a great -- very successful as a partners -- feminine and and then unfortunately started out early onset dementia.
And that led us to do -- a story about Fred what was going on and has his life and you know learning more about players were suffering from this obviously a lot of great reporting and been done.
But you know I got an idea from a person work on the story two to do a book about it.
And that sound like a great idea I came home -- I I said the Steve we know he's been talking about -- our project together.
-- -- what do you think of -- you know serve the story about to do about the NFL and you know Steve clearly sought from the beginning in city Ellis do it and you know fortunately crown has been kind -- to -- the -- for us.
Agitated unhappy he admits he really believed in many ways -- that if you're going about this in 2010.
That may be the NFL knew about it earlier.
Well I think that's one of the things that was really most striking to -- me when we got into the -- we we really started during the research.
Was how profound.
-- that the level of denial was on the part of the NFL.
-- date starting in need through the mid to late ninety's they were presented with a growing body of evidence that football.
Could and had cause brain damaged to some of the most prominent players in the in the league.
And -- their response to that was essentially to deny it to try to discredit the scientists.
Who were promoting that -- -- and to replace it with their own research which essentially denied it.
That concussions were major issue in the NFL and that -- football players -- susceptible to brand him.
I mean logic would tell you it's a risk of your boxer for example of someone tells you have no risk of -- head -- they left back you know some people have no problem there's other people's -- They'd have a problems before their careers done.
What do you think the NFL feared for the its future if this was exposed G if you players think you -- have dementia or a good chance who'll play.
Why not I don't think we can pretend to get inside the NFL's had about where they -- matter what they were thinking about you know there's one.
There's a piece in the book we lay out around one of the scientists the first scientist -- really discovers this and a player former player Mike Webster.
The hall -- center for the for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
There's a doctor a junior pathologist and -- -- who who basically looks at Webster's brand and discovers he's got this brain disease.
& Associates it with football and Amal Lou.
Gets to show.
His work to NFL doctor eventually.
And when that doctor sees the samples under a microscope -- -- -- -- he startled by what he's seeing and he says D'Amato.
You know do you realize what this means.
Somalis as well okay Tony what it means.
And and the doctor says look -- 10% of mothers in America begin to believe that football is dangerous.
That's the end of football we know right T Roosevelt thought that in the twenties right any thought they guys get to get even amending this is violent so who else did you have a chance to look at -- It in terms of players -- -- Well we look we we try to look at the cases they were most seminal with regard to this issue and so as mark mentioned we've we looked into the case of Mike Webster.
We looked into -- -- soon.
We looked into that Casey Junior -- These are all people who obviously were.
Were more prominent athletes they were a big part of of the NFL they were big part of what the NFL was and what it's become.
In -- -- of course he was an icon in San Diego and he was transformed into a completely different person.
To the point where at the age of 43 he shot himself in the -- in the chest.
And there was diagnosed with this -- -- disease that's now been found in 52 former.
NFL players and in the book.
We lay out in -- -- great feels great detail what happened to these players.
And I think that's one of the things that.
That I hope that people find powerful about the book is that these are people who we have watched -- -- entertained us who in many ways we -- And they've been profoundly affected by by the trauma that they suffered in this game and we're just try to highlight those cases in what it means what it's meant to this evolution of this -- You talk about evolution you tell about the speed and strength of these guys because of training and success and maybe each teacher performance enhances on top of that the field hasn't gotten any bigger but the players have and the heads of the got -- Mark do you see this problem only growing from -- of -- And address well I you know I think the question is really how do you address set out into the league keeps talking about how it's made itself safer than ever and of course -- they're wondering fines on players more there there addressing head to head hits.
But if you talk to the scientists are studying this you know and accused the foremost authority in the -- that.
She -- more NFL brains than anybody and she's -- Boston university and and they say the real issues not those big blow big blow up hits that we.
We all sort of watch -- -- highlights everything.
But rather the -- -- of nature of playing the game over and over again particularly the line of scrimmage.
And I'm not really sure you can mitigate that out of the game or frankly that raises the next question do you want to sports a violent sport it's a brutal sport this is frankly what a lot of us love about the sport.
You know it's the book the whole purpose of the book for our -- was to really.
Put a shot a lot of what are the league know when did it know it and to inform people so that they had an idea can make decisions for the slow.
Marcus defender or hear the name of the book they just -- his call -- league of denial the NFL concussions in the battle for truth so what was the push but a URKESPN.
So within -- push back there one of the rights holders for the NFL Steve.
There is an -- -- documentary that airs tonight on on PBS and at the very last minute.
He -- and pulled out of that partnership that's been reported that there is pressure that was exerted by the NFL which of course.
If it were true would be would be profoundly disappointed to to mark -- me at same time.
The reality is that ESP and was part and parcel of both this book and the film the put -- the book nor the the film would have been made without ESP.
Our editors all the way up to the -- obvious the end of continue to be incredibly supportive of our war.
And and our efforts to try to get to the bottom of this issue.
And so we're quite proud of it and it and I think that.
You know -- can -- that there's no suggestion at all that that's gonna chant.
Well what has been the response from players they're gonna -- -- we know about a massive lawsuit that was settled by the league.
But -- -- you do the math.
It looks like millions of dollars but it's about a 170000.
Dollars per player depending on the severity of how you're suffering since so.
The league is -- -- -- it -- and that doesn't mean we think that we were negligent we just -- settled his lawsuit.
Still want him anyways the -- even less than act is now the lawsuit incorporates every former retired player who -- wanna file a case and as part of the reporting Stephen I've done since the settlement is that.
There are real questions about whether there's actually enough money and how that settlements gonna play out I think you know.
Largely you know when we do talk to players or their families.
You know they've been incredibly grateful that were were willing to explore the issue and and you know and and are willing to sort of take on the NFL if you well and and and really shine a -- -- what they knew when -- know it.
I need is just impossible people's safety to actually -- you know cushion the brain.
The brains in water you put the best -- -- the -- can't stop the brain from being the skull as far as you talk to a doctor admitted to -- anything they could.
Keep you safe because I'm sure soldiers would love it -- well.
You know what you're seeing out because there's so much attention on this issue that there is -- you know every day -- -- some new product that purports to you know mitigate the effects of this this head trauma but in fact.
Exactly what you're saying is his true and I think this is the real issue that the NFL is facing at this point in mark alluded to this.
It's a violent sport it's a brutal sport it's one of the reasons why it's so popular and how do you legislate that out can you really protect players from that and I think our view.
Is that the important thing is providing good information around that -- providing transparent information.
Right indeed so I imagine the players that are out there might be suffering this is -- of the spouses and Stanley -- really open -- your book.
No absolutely I mean you know I think people wanted to see what what's in the -- and you know as we were saying earlier a lot of reporting has been done on this.
Previously but nobody I think is really tracked the trajectory and there's a lot of new information we think in the book that demonstrates the extent to which the league went.
To effectively -- -- this and then raises all the Specter of of exactly how do you protect against then.
That's one part of the book is there's a whole set there's a section around when the NFL forms a committee to try and be researched they have this this idea that they can just throw money at the problem.
And create a super -- basically even though they're being told by other -- experts in this field that the idea of creating a helmet -- protect against brain trauma.
Like concussions is its fullest.
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