Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly


Margaret Greer


During a 2009 House Judiciary hearing, California Representative Linda Sanchez, in an exchange with National Football League Chairman Roger Goodell, noted: "[t]he NFL sort of reminds me of the tobacco companies, pre-'90s, when they kept saying, 'no, there is no link between smoking and damage to your health."' In the years following Representative Sanchez's striking commentary on the NFL's refusal to acknowledge a correlation between concussions and long term neurological damage, the NFL has publicly admitted that repeated concussions can have adverse effects on a player's brain. An analysis of the concussion litigation between the NFL and former NFL players who suffer from neurological damage and a review of the NFL's current concussion policy indicate that federal regulation of the NFL's concussion policy is required. This Note examines both the need for federal regulation of the NFL's concussion policy, as well as the feasibility of such regulation under Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution.