New York Times op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristof today wrote a piece about Dr. Bennet Omalu’s work on military service persons’ traumatic brain injuries. See http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/26/opinion/kristof-veterans-and-brain-disease.html.
Over the objections of National Football League-affiliated professional colleagues, Omalu is recognized as the researcher most responsible for identifying chronic traumatic encephalopathy in dead football players. So you might think The Newspaper Of Record would have had a few things to chat about with this Nigerian-born forensic pathologist as the national concussion crisis accelerated over the last 22 months.
If so, you would be as wrong as Tim Tebow in a topless bar. Prior to today and since June 2010 – when Omalu and his West Virginia Brain Injury Research Institute team reported on the CTE finding of the late Cincinnati Bengal Chris Henry – there were exactly zero Times mentions of Omalu. (Times writer Toni Monkovic did cite Omalu once, in February 2011, in the blog “The Fifth Down.”)
Over the same period, I counted 22 quotes or mentions of Dr. Robert Cantu in the Times archive. Cantu, of course, directs the Center for the Study of CTE at Boston University, which two years ago this month received a $1 million grant from the NFL.
“$1 million, and zero strings,” Times reporter Alan Schwarz wrote in celebration that day.