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 #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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.
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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon