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Goodell releases statement following Gifford CTE disclosure

FILE - In this Thursday, April 30, 2015 file photo, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during the first round of the 2015 NFL Football Draft in Chicago. Without the games to distract from the issues, football fans were left to ponder the NFL’s policies, its commissioner and its overall credibility during an uncomfortable offseason for the league. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

AP

A few hours after the family of late Hall of Famer Frank Gifford released a statement that said Gifford was found to have suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement of his own that said the league continues to work to try to prevent concussions, to understand more about CTE and to make football safer for all who play it.

“This work will continue as the health and safety of our players remains our highest priority,” Goodell’s statement said. “We have more work to do — work that honors great men like Frank Gifford.”

Gifford, who played long before the NFL acknowledged the potential problems arising from concussions, once missed more than a full season after being knocked out by Eagles linebacker Chuck Bednarik. Gifford died last summer at 84.

Goodell’s statement said Gifford “exemplified everything good about our game throughout his years of extraordinary accomplishments, both on and off the field.

“We appreciate the Gifford family’s desire to help the medical community understand more about CTE, and we are grateful for their support of the league’s efforts to improve safety in our game. At the NFL, we are supporting grants to NIH and Boston University as well as other independent efforts to research the effects of repetitive head trauma.

“But we are not waiting until science provides all of the answers. We are working now to improve the safety of our game. The NFL has made numerous rules changes to the game, all to enhance player health and safety at all levels of football. These include 39 rule changes and better training and practice protocols that are yielding measurable results.”