By TONY SEED
Exempt from the rule of law by U.S. federal legislation, the powerful sports cartels rule their domain by exception. Once again the US National Football League (NFL) is investigating itself for dirty tricks. The articulate Seattle player, Richard Sherman, denounced it openly, i.e., without fear of fine, declaring that “it looks like a conflict of interest.”
For the past three years, the NFL has faced one “moral crisis” after the other involving organized fraud, collusion, violence and cheating of the health and safety of its players, constituting a credibility crisis that is part and parcel of the overall crisis of the American economic and political system and its institutions, with economic crisis at the base.
The latest crisis: Did the New England Patriots intentionally deflate the footballs used in the first half in the AFC Championship game on January 18 to gain an unfair competitive advantage? Continue reading
A sports cartel exposed: “A great conspiracy of money and power.” A recent study of retired players suggested that NFL retirees ages 60 to 89 are experiencing moderate to severe dementia at several times the national rate. “The NFL didn’t just suppress science, or ignore it; it disfigured it …. It is capitalism in its purest form, venal and powerful.”
This year, before the NFL settled with ex-players for US$765-million, commissioner Roger Goodell went on Face the Nation and again refused to admit any link between football and concussions | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
National Post (Oct. 9) – IT’S HARD to pick out the most essential part of League of Denial, the book written by brothers Steve Fairanu and Mark Fairanu-Wada, or the most vivid scene: agent Leigh Steinberg talking to Troy Aikman after the 1994 NFC championship game in a darkened room, with Aikman’s brain skipping like a record; Hall of Famer and Pittsburgh Steeler Mike Webster using shock batons to get to sleep; the NFL’s enduring hostility to the idea that football could be linked to brain damage; the doctors whose research says it is. Continue reading
Although brain injuries are greater in cycling and skiing as activities, it is professional hockey that is drawing attention. This is due to the serious risk, media glorification of violence and its infuence on youth, and the criminal negligence of big capital, which controls professional sports. DAN RALPH of Canadian Press reports on a new study that provides some information on the role of the media. The concentration of ownership of the monopoly media and NHL teams is not part of the study and is overlooked. Governance is a key issue, the study concludes, saying “We need to look at having new voices in how sports are governed …”
THERE has been a dramatic improvement in some news reporting on the severity and impact of concussions and serious brain injuries in hockey but journalists shouldn’t get carried away patting themselves on the back, according to a study of coverage in four North American newspapers.
Michael Cusimano, a neurosurgeon at Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital, says in a study of selected news coverage over the past 25 years that there’s plenty of room for improvement regarding the print media’s coverage of the issue. Continue reading
Overview, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Causes, Prevention, Treatment
By TERRY ZEIGLER*
CINCINNATI BENGALS RECEIVER CHRIS HENRY (age 26) had suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) before he died tragically in December 2009, media attention is once again focused on the possible long term effects of multiple concussions on the brain. Co-directors of the Brain Injury Research Institute at West Virginia, Julian Bailes, neurosurgeon, and Bennet Omalu, California medical examiner, made the stunning announcement earlier this year (Los Angeles Times, 2010).
Stunning because Henry was only 26 years old at the time of his death, yet his brain already showed the pathophysiological effects of CTE. This case provides more evidence to the growing data showing that repetitive blows to the brain may permanently alter the brain. Continue reading
SCORES of lawsuits involving thousands of former players touched by concussions and brain injuries have been consolidated into one master complaint, setting up a huge case for the U.S. National Football League. Ap reports that “Lawyers for the players filed the complaint in Philadelphia, accusing the N.F.L. of hiding information that linked football-related head trauma to permanent brain injuries. Among the illnesses cited were dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.”