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.
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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
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.
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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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