Bryan Altman, CBS Local Sports

The divide between the scientific community and the NFL community regarding the link between CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) and the sport of football doesn’t appear to be narrowing by much.

Yesterday, it was Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones who said that to suggest there’s a link between CTE and football was “absurd.”

Today, Arizona Cardinals’ head coach Bruce Arians didn’t go quite that far, and actually said that the fear of concussions “is real” in football. However, Arians also said that people who won’t let their kids play football are “fools.”

“This is the greatest game in the world,” Arians said in an interview with MMQB. “I think it teaches more values than any other game that you play. You have things that happen in your life that aren’t going to be good. If you play football, you know how to handle them. It doesn’t necessarily equate in track and other things.”

The day began for the NFL with a New York Times bombshell report that indicated that concussion research conducted by the NFL in the late 90s – research The Times asserts that the league still stands by –  is “more flawed than previously known.”

The league has since issued a statement defending their research and saying that The Times‘ reporting is “contradicted by clear facts.”

For many, a preponderance of evidence suggests a clear link between the debilitating brain disease – which is a direct byproduct of concussions, according to research –  and the sport where multiple concussions occur on the field of play each week. Still, coaches, owners, players and league personnel continue to dismiss those facts and defend their sport.

Either way, the philosophical divide between the two sides clearly continues to be an issue in addressing player safety and long-term health.

Bryan Altman is, for some reason, an unabashed fan of the Rangers, Jets and Mets. If he absolutely had to pick a basketball team it would be the Knicks, but he’d gladly trade them for just one championship for any of his other three teams.

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