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Riddell's response to article on football helmets

Posted 5/19/15

 

In reference to the Press And Journal article dated May 12, written by Eric Wise, titled, “Heads Up: Football Helmets Have Evolved – But How Much Do They Protect Your Kid?” (A1), Riddell has the following response: • The …

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Riddell's response to article on football helmets

Posted

In reference to the Press And Journal article dated May 12, written by Eric Wise, titled, “Heads Up: Football Helmets Have Evolved – But How Much Do They Protect Your Kid?” (A1), Riddell has the following response:

• The article said, “Interestingly, the Riddell Revolution helmet, which was developed in reaction to the NFL’s concussion crisis and marketed as having “Concussion Reduction Technology,” was rated 11th of the 12 current helmets. Condidi’s research showed the Revolution performing worse than most of the helmets now on the market. Riddell had to pay a settlement regarding its claims about the Revolution, which were found to be false.”

It’s important to note that the Conidi study (not Condidi) was funded by a plaintiff’s expert, and it has yet to be peer reviewed and published in any reputable venue. All claims related to Concussion Reduction Technology (i.e., 31 percent claims) are truthful and always have been. In fact, in a study published in January of 2014 in the Journal of Neurosurgery citing research led by Steve Rowson, Ph.D. (Rowson S, Duma SM, Greenwald RM, Beckwith JG, et al. "Can Helmet Design Reduce the Risk of Concussion in Football?'' J Neurosurg. 2014; 10.3171/2014.1.JNS13916, published online ahead of print Jan. 31, 2014), the peer review panel concluded that use of the more modern Riddell Revolution helmet would result in a 54 percent reduction in risk of concussion compared to the traditional style Riddell VSR4 helmet. Based on the knowledge that these claims are true, Riddell has never paid a settlement nor will we ever do so. 

• The article said, “The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment also has a pass-fail standard for helmets, although testing is carried out by manufacturers. Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru, the authors of “League of Denial,” a book detailing the National Football League’s crisis with brain injuries, criticized this pass-fail system because it had not been updated recently and is the industry’s self-policing standard, not an independent one. All of the helmets used by local high schools are NOCSAE-approved.”

The NOCSAE manufacturers’ certification is a stringent and rigorous testing standard and it has been very effective over the years. NOCSAE has also recently moved forward third party certification, which Riddell champions and is leading the charge on this initiative.

• The article said, “Virginia Tech rates helmets for protection from skull fractures and bruising of the brain from direct hits. Star ratings and prices are based on data from Virginia Tech. School districts may work out separate pricing with suppliers based on their needs.”

To the extent you’re implying that helmet pricing is somehow related to Virginia Tech’s STAR ratings, Riddell sets its own helmet pricing, which is done in advance of the Virginia Tech STAR rating evaluation. Pricing does not correlate in any way to the performance in the ratings.

Erin Griffin
Director of Corporate Communications
Riddell & BRG Sports
Rosemont, Ill.