At a time when his league is still reeling from the deaths of three enforcers last summer, all of whom reportedly suffered from depression possibly associated with repetitive blows to the head, and at a time when the rest of the sports world is looking for ways to lessen head trauma, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman recently said fighting is not a big issue for the NHL. In fact, a ban on fighting was not even considered at the NHL’s board of governors meetings earlier this month.
“Our fans tell us that they like the level of physicality in our game,” Bettman said at the NHL’s meetings, “and for some people it’s an issue, but it’s not as big an issue in terms of fans and people in the game to the extent that other people suggest it is.”
The NHL, in an effort to defend the barbaric tradition of allowing fighting in its sport, says there’s no solid evidence that fighting is dangerous and increases the risk of degenerative brain disease.
And while there’s currently no conclusive proof to that end, “that debate is on a scientific level. On a practical level, there is no debate that banging your head is bad for your brain. It’s common sense,” says Nicholas J. Cotsonika in his Yahoo! Sports article entitled, “Fighting Back: NHL Holds Ground on Fisticuffs.”
It’s past time that Bettman and the rest of the NHL’s executives come out of the stone age and ban fighting.
— 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.
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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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