Saturday, January 15, 2011

F.T.C. to Investigate Football Helmet Manufacturer Riddell

The Associated Press reported on Friday that the United States Federal Trade Commission is looking into potentially misleading and deceptive trade practices by football helmet manufacturer Riddell. Riddell is the official helmet manufacturer of the National Football League.

According to the AP article, the F.T.C. is concerned about statements on Riddell's website stating that "research shows a 31 percent reduction in the risk of concussion in players wearing a Riddell Revolution football helmet when compared to traditional helmets." According to United States Senator Tom Udall (New Mexico) -- who wrote to the F.T.C. requesting an investigation -- there is little evidence supporting Riddell's safety claims. For its part, Riddell released a statement calling the allegations "unfounded and unfair," and welcoming any scrutiny.

The AP interviewed Professor Stephen Ross, director of Penn State's Institute for Sports Law, Policy and Research, for its story, who noted that "the commission has several options if it decides to pursue action against companies, including a cease-and-desist order."

For more on this story, see the Associated Press's report here.