The New York Times tackles concussions - and the NFL - in new 'truth has a voice' spot

The New York Times takes aim at the NFL in this spot highlighting its coverage on concussions in the sport. / The New York Times Company

Headlines tell the story of the New York Times' longtime investigation of concussions, CTE and the NFL in a haunting spot that the publisher has released ahead of Super Bowl weekend.

The spot opens with the headline "Seau to Enter Draft," in reference to professional football hall-of-famer Junior Seau from the San Diego Chargers.

For the uninitiated, the subsequent headlines look as though they're showcasing career highlights of a legend taking shape over the '90s, coinciding with the league's record numbers in attendance.

Then the spot flashes forward a headline (and a decade) to 2007, with Seau returning from injury for his final season. It then jumps to 2012, when the Times announced the linebacker's suicide.

In the years that followed, the Times' investigative journalism was in the midst of what would happen next: conflict with the NFL over the ties between brain trauma, football and suicide, and the outlet's presence leading up to the NFL's eventual change to its concussion protocol.

This is the second spot that the Times has aired so far this year, the first being its "He said. She said" spot during the Golden Globes, timely with the #MeToo and #TimesUp social campaigns taking off.

The ad, says the Times, is the latest in the series that draws from its “The Truth is Hard” campaign that debuted during the Academy Awards last year.

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The Times says plans to release ads highlighting other major Times investigations focusing on holding power to account in the sports arena, including its coverage of Russian doping at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi as well as its corruption investigation of FIFA officials in 2015.

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