By Ken Reed
The Mayo Clinic recently held a conference on concussions in hockey. One of the outcomes was researchers calling for a ban on fighting at all levels of the game of hockey.
Dr. Michael Stuart, a director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center and the chief medical officer for USA Hockey, called for professional and junior hockey leagues to instigate automatic ejections and suspensions for fighting. Currently, pro and junior leagues typically assess a five-minute penalty for fighting, and allow offenders to return to the game.
“Science has responded to the game on the ice,” said Ken Dryden, a Hall-of-Fame goalie for the Montreal Canadians and a member of the Canadian Parliament. “Now it’s time for the game to respond to the science.”
Other attendees said the National Hockey League (NHL) should drop fighting for reasons beyond safety and health, noting liability issues.
Fighting isn’t an accepted part of hockey at all levels, nor is it condoned in every country that plays the game. For example, players who fight in NCAA college hockey, European hockey leagues, and youth hockey leagues in both the United States and Canada are ejected and sometimes suspended depending on the circumstances. Only the NHL, various other pro hockey leagues in North America and most junior leagues in Canada continue to tolerate fighting despite the brain trauma and concussion risks.
“As contorted as the NHL’s arguments always are in terms of responding to concerns about fighting, I think they’re almost at the final point of contortion,” said Dryden.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
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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.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
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.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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