[posted 1/20/11 to http://wrestlingbabylon.wordpress.com]
Greg Aiello, the National Football League’s conscientious media liaison, got back to me quickly in response to my post earlier today, “NFL Bans Coaches From Relationships With Supplement Companies. But NFL and WWE Doctor Maroon? Ka-Ching!”, http://wrestlingbabylon.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/nfl-bans-coaches-from-relationships-with-supplement-companies-but-nfl-and-wwe-doctor-joseph-maroon-ka-ching/.
Aiello said: “The league’s supplement endorsement policy applies only to league and club employees. If any club or person affiliated with a club engages in or promotes conduct that violates our policy on performance-enhancing substances, all involved would be held accountable.”
The language here recalls that of Commissioner Roger Goodell at the October 2009 hearings of the House Judiciary Committee. Pressed about questionable denials of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy research issued by the NFL concussion policy committee, Goodell insisted that the committee doctor-members – Maroon among them – are not league employees. But they are certainly league consultants who draw fees and ancillary commercial benefits. The smarter members of the Judiciary Committee, including Linda Sanchez of California and Anthony Weiner of New York, took note of the league experts’ absence of independence and transparency.
I’m not saying that the supplements endorsed by Dr. Maroon contain substances listed as performance-enhancing. But the principle that came through at the Judiciary Committee hearings applies: he is a walking infomercial, not someone whose word on player safety and on the NFL’s vigilance on its behalf earns the benefit of the doubt.