Category Archives: Football
The Federal Trade Commission testified before Congress this week on actions it has taken to help ensure that concussion protection claims made for football helmets and other sports equipment are truthful and supported by reliable scientific evidence.
Testifying on behalf of the Commission before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, Richard Cleland, Assistant Director for Advertising Practices in FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, outlined the agency’s enforcement efforts. The testimony notes that as awareness of the danger of concussions has grown, manufacturers have started making concussion-protection claims for an increasing array of sports-related products.
“Given the dangers that concussions pose for young athletes engaged in sports, it is essential that advertising for products claiming to reduce the risk of this injury be truthful and substantiated,” the testimony states.
The testimony points out that in August 2012 the Commission announced a settlement with the marketers of the Brain-Pad mouth guard. The Commission alleged that Brain-Pad, Inc. and its president lacked a reasonable basis for their claims that Brain-Pad mouth guards reduced the risk of concussions, especially those caused by lower jaw impacts, and that they had falsely claimed that scientific studies proved that those mouth guards did so. The order in that case prohibits these and other deceptive claims.
In November 2012, after the order in the Brain-Pad case became final, the Commission staff sent out warning letters to 18 other manufacturers of sports equipment, advising them of the Brain-Pad settlement and warning them that they might be making deceptive concussion protection claims for their products, according to the testimony.
The Commission staff also investigated concussion risk reduction claims made by three major manufacturers of football helmets: Riddell Sports Group, Inc., Schutt Sports Inc., and Xenith, LLC. The staff closed the investigations without taking formal action. All three companies discontinued potentially deceptive claims in their advertising, or had agreed to do so, the testimony stated.
The Commission will continue monitoring the market to ensure that advertisers do not mislead consumers about their products’ concussion-protection capabilities, or the science behind them. The Commission’s approach will be balanced, to avoid inadvertently chilling research or impeding development of new technologies and products that truly do provide concussion protection, the testimony concluded.
The Commission vote approving the testimony and its inclusion in the formal record was 4-0.
As reported in the most recent issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter, the Woodmore Local School District (Ohio) and the Woodmore High School head football coach were named defendants in a concussion lawsuit recently in connection with a player’s traumatic brain injury.
While the litigation is ongoing, the lawsuit has already produced some results as the coach, Britton Devier, announced recently that he would not reapply for his job.
“It’s just time for me to move on,” Devier told the media. “I have applied numerous places. I guess I’m looking to move forward.”
He added that “it’s a stressful situation. I just thought it was better for somebody else to start over.”
The lawsuit in question was brought by the parents of a teen, who suffered the injury after the defendants allegedly “implemented an attack against players as part of an effort to punish and haze certain members of the football team for lack of ‘hustle.’”
The Arizona Cardinals recently hosted more than 100 mothers and youth football players at a Moms Football Safety Clinic, which took place at the Universidad del Valle de México.
The program covered proper tackling, equipment fitting, heat and hydration education, and concussion awareness. Former Cardinals joined the attendees for on-field drills.
Following the Moms Clinic, 100 youth football coaches participated in a Heads Up Football Player Safety Coach Clinic, where they were introduced to proper equipment fitting, heat and hydration education, and concussion awareness. Anderson and Cantu led the coaches through Heads Up Football tackling drills.