David Bruton of the Denver Broncos after a play that would force him out of the game with a concussion | Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
The doctor who took a stand decades ago against boxing argues that the N.F.L. must acknowledge the high risk of brain injury.
IN late 1982, I was watching the heavyweight championship fight between Larry Holmes and Randall Cobb, known as Tex, on television. Even though I was a longtime fan of pretty much every sport, I was appalled by the ceaseless violence that the referee permitted to be inflicted on Cobb. As a pathologist who had autopsied hundreds of people, I knew the kind of damage the fight could be causing. I wasn’t the only one horrified by the spectacle: Howard Cosell, who was calling the fight, asked, “I wonder if that referee understands that he is constructing an advertisement for the abolition of the very sport that he’s a part of?” Continue reading
This week, says one player who worries about the ramifications of his career decision, ‘is all about football.’ Reported concussions rose 58 per cent in the NFL this season, though reported is very different from actual.
Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders, left, is focused on Super Bowl 50, and not the possible effects of concussions. “If I’m going to die, at least I’m going to die doing stuff that I love to do,” he says. “And this is what I love to do.” | MARK REIS / TNS
SANTA CLARA, CALIF.—One night Ryan Harris went to the movies with his wife. Harris is an eighth-year offensive lineman for the Denver Broncos, and started all 16 games this season. Going out was a nice way to unwind, until it wasn’t.
“My wife started crying,” says the six-foot-five, 302-pound Harris. “We were in another movie and they showed the preview for Concussion, and my wife started crying. I was like, we don’t need to see this movie.” Continue reading
Jesse Tahirali, CTVNews.ca
(Nov. 30) – Hockey thrives off of crushing body checks and game-stopping fist fights, but it’s the long-term consequences of on-ice violence the NHL seems less than eager to advertise.
In fact, at the request of the league, a court has sealed the majority of 2.5 million pages of internal documents related to a lawsuit brought forth by more than 100 former NHL players. Continue reading
“Dr. Charles Tator, a Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto who has been outspoken on the subject of pro sports and concussions, said questions remain with Edelman and NFL concussion data…. Edelman may end up suing the team if he develops complications from the Super Bowl.” MARK ZWOLINSKI
Did the New England Patriots cheat to win the Super Bowl? Julian Edelman stayed in Super Bowl despite concussion concerns – took a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit early in the fourth quarter, got up and tried to extend the play | TONY SEED
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane (20) is tackled by New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) after intercepting New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during the first half of NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. Edelman was later hit in the game and looked like he was suffering from a concussion. | KATHY WILLENS / AP
US university sporting cartel forced to agree to standardise how colleges treat players with head injuries and allow for athletes to seek compensation. Instead of adopting stricter protections for athletes, the lawsuit said the NCAA chose “to sacrifice them on an altar of money and profits”, an approach that occurred even though the NCAA had known for at least a decade “of the correlation between concussions and depression, dementia and early onset Alzheimer’s disease.” A 2010 internal NCAA survey found almost half of athletes with signs of a concussion were put back into the same game.
American college sports, especially football, has come under scrutiny for head injuries sustained during play | Kathy Willens/AP
AP (July 29 ) – The NCAA agreed Tuesday to settle a class-action head-injury lawsuit by creating a $70m fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing football, hockey, soccer and other contact sports. 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
Court documents released in mid-July in an ongoing lawsuit against the NCAA, the national body governing the billion-dollar U.S. university sport empire, revealed the extent of the organization’s criminal unwillingness to act on policies aimed at preventing and treating concussions. Former college football player Adrian Arrington and other former athletes brought the suit against the NCAA, alleging that it was negligent in how it treated concussions because of its failure to adopt standards. The plaintiffs are currently seeking certification to make the case a class-action lawsuit.
Instead of national standards consistent with the best ideals of amateur sport, the NCAA passed the buck and left much of its decision-making on concussions and other head injuries to its member institutions. The NCAA in fact, operates very like any typical capitalist cartel. The ThinkProgress, a US NGO, examined hundreds of pages of court filings made public and compiled a timeline of the NCAA’s history with concussions. “Because it is based primarily on court documents,” it states, “it is not necessarily comprehensive, but it paints a picture of the NCAA’s unwillingness to act — and its fears of legal liabilities if it did — on the concussion epidemic that was and still is plaguing its sports:
BY TRAVIS WALDRON ON JULY 23, 2013
March 31, 1906: The Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States is founded to “protect young people from the dangerous and exploitive athletics practices of the time.” It has 62 members and is the result of President Theodore Roosevelt’s efforts to reform safety standards in college athletics. 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
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.”