Dr. Bennet Omalu discovered CTE in former NFL players in the early 2000s, which is the basis of the biopic "Concussion" starring Will Smith. CTE or severe head trauma fundamentally deteriorates the brain's structure, which has created much blowback in the NFL over the years. While on the surface, it might seem like the NFL is responsive, that might not actually be the case. Critics say the NFL hasn't been doing enough to address or prevent CTE, and their $100 million investment is only a small start given the NFL's history of obstructing solutions to the issue.
The NFL tried to use the money as a way to influence the studies. They lobbied to take the study away from Robert Stern, director of clinical research at Boston University’s C.T.E. Center, and instead wanted a NFL doctor to run the research with NIH. The NIH blasted the NFL who denied the accusations, but NFL later retracted the $16 million donation.