BOSTON -- Attending a Team IMPACT's Game-Day Gala at the Seaport World Trade Center on Thursday night, Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft responded to a New York Times report regarding flaws in the league's concussion research.
Asked if he had seen the report, Kraft replied, "Have you seen the NFL's reaction to that?"
"I'll just say this," Kraft continued, "any contact sport, whether it's women's soccer, hockey or football, there are going to be concussions. I'll tell you this, that I think the game has never been safer from an equipment point of view, from a medical point of view. I know I played, two of my sons played, my three grandsons play so we have three generations playing the game, and I think the life lessons that you get playing football are worth the risk."
The NFL released two separate rebuttals to the Times article earlier in the day on Thursday, saying that the piece "is contradicted by clear facts that refute both the thesis of the story and each of its allegations."
When a reporter began a question to Kraft by saying that the NFL acknowledged the reporting of concussions was "incomplete," Kraft responded quickly, saying, "Inaccurate. Inaccurate. They put out a 50-page reply to it. But we're here to celebrate Team IMPACT tonight, and I'll let you deal with those issues."
In the initial rebuttal published by the NFL, it wrote, "The studies never claimed to be based on every concussion that was reported or that occurred. Moreover, the fact that not all concussions were reported is consistent with the fact that reporting was strongly encouraged by the League but not mandated, as documents provided to the Times showed."
Team IMPACT, which was co-founded by Dan Kraft and Jay Calnan, pairs children who are facing chronic or life-threatening illnesses with college athletic teams.