General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), one of the top technological innovation firms - especially in the medical fields - is apparently in the market to address the negative publicity the National Football League has garnered lately with discussions about concussions and player safety. in the wake of the suicide of Junior Seau and the revelations that he suffered massive brain injury from his playing days.
The NFL cannot be proactive on this issue, but it clearly needs to respond to the furor over the safety of itsplayers. And Jeffery Immelt, CEO of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), a former offensive tackle at Dartmouth College, has brought his company into the league's response to concussions by securing a four-year, $50-million deal that would accelerate the development of technology to assess concussions and other brain injuries, and to develop materials that would better protect the brain.
While this initiative - which apparently came out of a conversation last fall between Immelt and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell - at least show some importance that the league acknowledges in ensuring more safety for players, there are some indirectly involved with the league who think this is an image-saver for the league more than something to help players.
“Is this their way of defending themselves with this cloud over the sport? I’d be lying if I told you it had nothing to do with it,” said Kevin Guskiewicz, member of the league's head, neck and spine committee and chairman of a safety equipment and rules subcommittee. He expects to work with the NFL and General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) to identify areas of focus. “They’ve got to protect their image right now; the headlines are not good headlines. ... But I do think the NFL is smart to partner with some major technology gurus.”
What do you think of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) partnership with the NFL? Let us know your thoughts about this company and this story in the comments section below.
DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stock mentioned.
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