Former Chicago Bears Pro Bowl safety Dave Duerson sensed something was wrong with his brain and that football could be a contributing factor. Before shooting himself in the heart in February, Duerson left a note asking that his brain be donated to science.
A medical examination revealed signs of a degenerative brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Duerson’s brain tissue had atrophied and contained abnormal brown protein deposits called tau. These are classic signs of CTE.
“Dave Duerson had the classic pathology of (CTE) and severe involvement of all the things that affect judgment, inhibition, impulse, mood control and memory,” said Dr. Ann McKee, one of the world’s experts in the neuropathology of CTE.
Before his suicide, Duerson had been suffering from family problems, blurry vision, erratic behavior, and trouble spelling basic words.
As a football player, Duerson had suffered multiple concussions during his career and thousands of subconcussive blows to the brain.
A former NFL Humanitarian of the Year Award winner, Duerson was hopeful that by donating his brain to science he could help others down the road.
The League of Fans is calling for all sports leagues — at all levels — to develop an education campaign on concussions and implement a research-based policy for preventing and treating them.
Furthermore, the League of Fans is calling on every state to adopt concussion legislation similar to Colorado’s Jake Snakenberg Youth Concussion Act.
Briefly this legislation entails the following:
–Requires coaches who suspect an athlete has a concussion to immediately remove that athlete from play for the remainder of the game or practice.
–In order for the athlete to return to play, a written clearance from a licensed health care provider is needed.
–All coaches of athletes ages 11-19 would be required to take a free 30-minute online concussion course that would teach them to recognize concussion symptoms.
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.” We discuss overzealous adults in youth sports, the dangers of sport specialization, youth sports entrepreneurs and the profit-at-all-costs mindset, and the growing socio-economic gap in youth sports.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan.
Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon