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 #32 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Prolific Author Joe Posnanski Joins the Show – Posnanski is one of America’s best sportswriters and has twice been named the best sports columnist in America by the Associated Press Sports Editors. We chat about his new book, “Why We Love Baseball,” his new Substack newsletter called Joe Blogs, and we cover topics including how baseball treats its fans, MLB’s numerous rule changes this past season, how the sport can become more fan-friendly, the greatness of Negro Leagues champion Buck O’Neil, and much more.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #31 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Foul Ball Safety Is Still an Important Issue at Ballparks – Our guests are Jordan Skopp, founder of FoulBallSafety.com and Greg Wilkowski, a Chicago based attorney. We discuss the historical problem of foul balls injuring fans and why some teams are still hesitant to put up protective netting in some minor league and college baseball parks.
Episode #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
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.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
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.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
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