For decades, the National Hockey League has argued that fighting is part of the game. This despite the fact that hockey gets along just fine without fighting at the collegiate and Olympic levels (and even in the Stanley Cup playoffs). In no other team sport is fighting considered “part of the game.” It’s a big reason that the NHL has remained a niche sport, solidly dead last among the four major American professional sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL).
Today, with an epidemic of concussions plaguing the league, and with new research coming out showing that concussions and repetitive blows to the head can lead to long-term brain degeneration, the fact that the NHL still condones bare-knuckled fighting is increasingly troubling.
Former NHL player Jim Thomson, a well-known “fighter” who’s primary job was to protect his team’s stars, recently came out calling for a complete ban on fighting in the NHL.
“Get it out,” said Thomson. “I mean, come on, why do we need it? I am tired of sitting with my kids and two guys drop the gloves, and I’m waiting for a guy to be shaking on the ice in a seizure or knocked out. It’s an ugly scene.”
Thomson is part of a coalition of current and former athletes who are promoting a website (www.stopconcussions.com) designed to help educate athletes on the cause, effects and consequences of brain concussions.
For more on Thomson and his endeavors, read ‘As a fighter in hockey, you live in fear.’
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