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    March 15, 2016 -- In what is believed to be a first, a senior NFL official acknowledged a direct link between football and the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

    Jeff Miller, the NFL's executive vice president for health and safety policy, took part in a roundtable discussion Monday that was arranged by the House Government and Commerce Committee. The committee is examining concussions in sports, the military and other areas, NBC News reported.

    Miller was asked by Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Illinois, whether he believed "there is a link between football and degenerative brain disorders" like CTE.

    Miller replied that some research "shows that a number of retired NFL players were diagnosed with CTE, so the answer to that question is certainly yes," NBC News reported.

    Schakowsky asked again, "Is there a link?" Miller responded, "Sure," but then added that he is not a doctor.

    Miller's acknowledgment of a connection between football and CTE could be a major shift in the discussion about head injuries in football, America's most popular sport, according to NBC News.

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