By Ken Reed
Get this: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman believes player safety is a primary consideration for his league.
“We have been extraordinarily proactive on the whole issue of player safety, and I think our record in that regard speaks volumes,” says Bettman.
I didn’t see him when he said this but I presume he said it with a straight face.
The reality is Bettman heads the only major professional sports league in North America that allows fighting. He and other fighting proponents believe it’s a necessary part of the game. This despite the fact that Olympic, European and NCAA hockey gets along just fine without it.
Now the NHL is facing a lawsuit from 10 former NHL players for negligence and fraud, saying the NHL didn’t do enough to address head issues and promote player safety after becoming aware of concussions and brain trauma in their sport. Instead, the players claim, the NHL promoted and profited from violence on the ice.
The NHL case is very similar to a case brought by former players against the National Football League. That lawsuit resulted in a $765 million settlement for the players.
The NHL players will have one big advantage in this case that the NFL players didn’t have: They’re suing a league that embraces fisticuffs as part of their game.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – The guest is Gary McCoy, a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations. Our focus is the injury pandemic in baseball, what’s causing it and how it can be fixed.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
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
Episode #11 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Latest on Brain Trauma, Concussions and CTE with Dr. Chris Nowinski – Nowinski is CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation.
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO.
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.
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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