By Ken Reed
The NFL is facing major concussion-related litigation in the coming months. The NHL might not be far behind.
The family of former NHL enforcer Derek Boogaard has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the NHL, claiming the NHL was grossly negligent on multiple fronts. In particular, the Boogaard family’s lawyers claim the NHL failed to warn NHL players about the dangers of concussions, most notably the dangers of playing through concussions.
The lawsuit could be the impetus for additional lawsuits filed on behalf of former players suffering from the aftereffects of brain trauma incurred while playing hockey.
It could also eventually lead to fighting being banned once and for all in the NHL. (Can you believe that in 2013 we’re still talking about whether or not fighting should be banned in hockey?)
Thomas Demetrio, a lawyer representing the Boogaard family said, “This League needs to adapt and change so that a preventable tragedy like this never happens again. This lawsuit will unearth the failed policies that have led to the demise of so many NHL Fighters and bring to light the need for meaningful change in the NHL so that families, like the Boogaards, can rest easier knowing that their loved ones are safe.”
Here’s hoping this Boogaard suit ends up carrying that kind of clout.
* * *
Meanwhile, elsewhere on the concussion front, Patrick Hruby has written an excellent piece about the NFL curiously keeping discredited doctor, Elliot Pellman, in the fold. You may recall that Pellman, who at one time headed up the leagues committee on concussions, once said concussions in professional football “are not serious injuries,” and that “many [concussed] players can be safely allowed to return to play on the day of injury.” Pellman continues to advise the NFL on medical issues.
Just when you think the NFL is slowly crawling out of its cave on the brain trauma issue you read an excellent piece like Hruby’s.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
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Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan in the year 2022.
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Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
Episode #20 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Coaching Youth and High School Sports Based On What’s Best for the Athlete’s Holistic Development – We chat with long-time youth, high school and college basketball coach Jim Huber.
Episode #19 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Capturing the Spirit of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League with Anika Orrock – We discuss the hoops AAGPFL women had to jump through to play the game they loved as well as the long-term impact and legacy they have in advancing sports opportunities for girls and women.
Episode #18 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking about the 50th Anniversary of Title IX and the Lia Thomas Controversy with Nancy Hogshead-Makar – Hogshead-Makar is a triple gold medalist in swimming, a civil rights attorney and CEO of Champion Women.
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.
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.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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