PunditFact checks commissioner's claim that NFL players live longer than the average man

4:04 PM, Feb 3, 2014   |    comments
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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

St. Petersburg, Florida - With the Super Bowl blowout being a big story, PunditFact paid attention to interviews before the big game. It has the fact-check on the NFL Commissioner's comments before Super Bowl 48.

Several topics were on the table before the Super Bowl: the weather, security, the proposal to eliminate extra points and the concern over the violence of football.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell talked about some of them in an interview with FOX News Sunday host, Chris Wallace. Here's what he said about football players' health.

"Our players are living, on average, longer than the average male"

PunditFact found a CDC study released in 2012 which looked at mortality rates of former NFL players and showed that out of about 3400 players, it expected the general mortality rates to have 625 of them be deceased. In actuality, in 2007 half of them were deceased, about 340.

The retired players also, on average were living longer than men in the general population.

"They said that those NFL players had a lower rate of cancer, a lower risk of heart disease, they were living longer than the average male," says Aaron Sharockman, Editor of PunditFact.

It also finds men considered obese, those with a Body Mass Index, or BMI of 30 had twice the risk of death. Today's players are much bigger, so PunditFact looked at the Denver Bronco's roster.

"We found that half of the Denver Broncos are in the same category and actually, a full ¼ of the players on that roster had a BMI of 35, and the study said those folks essentially have a higher risk, about double the risk of dying of heart disease," says Sharockman.

Because Goodell's statement is backed by a government study, but doesn't include modern-day players, PunditFact rates his statement, MOSTLY TRUE.

PunditFact did several checks on Super Bowl comments. You can read more here.

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