NFL owners have more to worry about these days than just the work stoppage with the players. The evidence continues to mount that repetitive blows to the head — both concussive and sub-concussive –from football contact can lead to depression, violent and erratic behavior, and other mental disorders.
Several researchers, including pathologists Dr. Bennet Omalu and Dr. Ann McKee, have found brain damage, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), in a growing number of deceased NFL players.
McKee’s research team recently found CTE in former NFL star Dave Duerson. Duerson had suspected he had CTE for awhile. In a final note before committing suicide at age 50, Duerson asked researchers to analyze his brain. He shot himself in the chest instead of the head to preserve his brain for analysis.
“Dave Duerson had the classic pathology of [CTE] and severe involvement of all the [brain regions] that affect judgment, inhibition, impulse, mood control and memory,” McKee said.
Meanwhile, the NFL seems to be employing a variety of legal and public relations tactics designed to distance the league from any culpability.
“This shows that the NFL is frightened about getting sued,” Dr. Gabe Mirkin, sports medicine pioneer and erstwhile Redskins consultant, told Washington City Paper. “Mark my words: The NFL is going to be at the end of a lawsuit where a guy says they should be paying for this or that criminal behavior, because some guy got hit in the head too much playing football, and a jury will be convinced of that. And that is a reasonable argument. The brain controls everything. And there’s accumulating evidence to show that getting hit in the head can cause anything to change — thought processes, mood, anything. The NFL has to act like it’s taking action.”
While we continue to monitor the latest research on sports-related concussions, the League of Fans proposes that, at a minimum, all sports leagues — at all levels — be required to implement an education campaign on concussions and a research-based policy for preventing and treating them.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
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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