SAN FRANCISCO — Chris Nowinski ended his remarks by saying: “I don’t think I’ll be invited back. I’ve just been blacklisted.”
Nowinski, the executive director of the Concussion Legacy Foundation and one of the league’s harshest critics, showed up at the NFL’s health and safety update here Thursday, he claimed, to “hear what they had to say.”
He happened to be standing right there when Dr. Mitchel Berger, a member of the league’s head, neck and spine committee, repeated the league’s long-held contention that there is no definitive link between football and the degenerative brain decease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. The science, he said, does not support such a broad conclusion.
Reporters quickly crowded around Nowinski after Berger was whisked away by an NFL staffer in the middle of questioning. They skipped out on exhibits showing what the NFL says are emerging technologies that could better help diagnose and prevent concussions.