NFL Spokesman Aiello: WWE Medical Director Maroon Still ‘Works With’ League Concussion Committee

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NFL Explains: Maroon Still on Committee, Only Concussion ‘Leadership’ Has Changed
July 7, 2010

National Football League spokesman Greg Aiello says Dr. Joseph Maroon “will continue to work with” the league’s committee on head, neck, and spine injuries.

In light of recent statements by the NFL’s new committee co-chairs, Drs. H. Hunt Batjer and Richard G. Ellenbogen, that they are making a complete break with the league’s past leadership on this issue, I am seeking to learn more about Maroon’s role and the exact membership of the reconstituted committee.

Maroon – a neurologist who is a team physician for the Pittsburgh Steelers and, since 2008, also has been medical director of World Wrestling Entertainment – has served on the NFL committee for an undetermined number of years. He also was among the league-affiliated doctors who were roundly criticized for their passivity and tainted research on concussion syndrome during their Congressional testimony last year.

In an email to me today, Aiello wrote, “Dr. Maroon will continue to work with the committee on head, neck, and spine injuries and will attend the committee’s next meeting scheduled for later this month. You also asked about his status with the Steelers. I do not believe Dr. Maroon’s role with the Steelers has changed, but you would have to confirm that with the Steelers and Dr. Maroon.”

I emailed back to Aiello this two-part follow-up:

* Is it correct to interpret Dr. Maroon’s “working with” the committee as distinct from his continuing to be on the committee?

* The above is prompted by the statements of your new concussion co-chairs in the June 1 New York Times report on the Johns Hopkins conference. In that story, Drs. Batjer and Ellenbogen were said to be “reconstituting their committee from scratch. [Batjer] said that six members had been selected so far, none of them holdovers from the prior regime.” To clarify, can you please provide both the membership list of the old committee and the membership list of the current committee?

Irv Muchnick

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Concussion Inc. - Author Irvin Muchnick