With the National Football League’s preseason schedule set for kick off next week, CU Boulder experts are available for media interviews about the fate of the national anthem kneeling rule, broader issues of race and politics in sports, players’ power to make changes through labor unions, as well as whether new rules will curb the rate of concussions.

On the kneeling rule, race in the NFL: Pat Ferrucci is an assistant professor of journalism. He can speak to reporters about issues concerning race in the NFL. Ferrucci has published research on the intersection of sports, race and journalism, particularly on how quarterbacks are evaluated differently based on race.

On politics in sports: Roger Pielke Jr., director of the CU Center for Sports Governance, can talk about the intersection of sports and politics. He has also studied the governing bodies of several different sports.

On the role of labor unions: Jeff Zax, economics professor, has studied and written about labor unions since the 1980s. He can talk to reporters about the power dynamics and structure of the NFL Players Association.

On new rules and curbing concussions: Matthew McQueen, director of CU Boulder’s Public Health Program, recently worked on a two-year study of NCAA athletes and concussions. He believes two new rules aimed at changing kickoffs and helmet contact could help curtail concussions in the league.

“We know that punt returns are less risky than kickoff returns. Making kickoff returns more like punt returns will help,” McQueen said. “Further, any movement toward ‘getting the head out of the game’ is a benefit.”

For help arranging interviews, contact:
Andrew Sorensen, CU Boulder media relations