John McCain slams NFL over brain injuries

Posted at 3:30 PM, Apr 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-27 18:49:06-04

Count John McCain among the increasing number of voices calling for the NFL to ramp up its research on head injuries suffered by players.

After viewing a presentation by the nonprofit Cleveland Clinic, in which a doctor revealed how brains of MMA fighters and boxers had been negatively impacted by numerous blows to the head, McCain asked why the NFL hasn't done more to address CTE.

"It's interesting that it is the least organized of all professional sports -- in order words, you have all this alphabet soup of boxing agencies -- and yet, in the case of the NFL,  you have one czar (NFL commissioner Roger Goodell) who could dictate that these things happen," McCain told The Guardian.

McCain asked the NFL to participate in Cleveland Clinic's ongoing Professional Fighters Brain Health Study.

"I'm going to be urging the NFL to be joining this Cleveland Clinic program so that we can prevent the tragic outcomes of too many blows," he said. "We already know it's happening; it's already been covered enormously by the media."

McCain said he plans to write Goodell to ask him to include the NFL on the Cleveland Clinic research, just as UFC and boxing promoters have done. He said he previously referred to MMA as "human cockfighting" due to its lack of safety mechanisms, but he's since changed his tune.

"The MMA cleaned up their act, they really did. When it first started, they were able to do the things that are now prohibited," McCain said.