By Ken Reed
I read two concussion-related stories this morning. One, was a blurb about former NFL player Adrian Robinson, Jr. Robinson, who played for several NFL teams during his short career, killed himself at age 25. Wednesday, an autopsy confirmed that Robinson had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disease linked to repeated blows to the head. Robinson suffered several concussions during his football career.
“He went from being one of the nicest guys you’d ever want to talk to, to having a darker edge at times,” said family lawyer Ben Andreozzi. “The family started noticing changes in his behavior and didn’t know why.” (See “Adrian Robinson, Jr. had brain disease … http://es.pn/1NHJ1xr)
Now they do.
The second piece I read was a column by former NFL player Ross Tucker. The Princeton-educated Tucker has a provocative question in his column today: “If you suffered a concussion bad enough that it kept you out of action for four weeks, would you contemplate never playing again?”
Tucker said he definitely would consider retirement.
Luke Kuechly, a linebacker for the Carolina Panthers, is in that very situation today. He hasn’t played since suffering a concussion in the season opener. However, he’s expected to take the field this week against the Seattle Seahawks.
Kuechly certainly isn’t alone among today’s players when it comes to suffering from the effects of a football-induced concussion. For one, New England Patriots center Bryan Stork can’t play for at least the first eight games this season due to a severe concussion.
The San Francisco 49’ers Chris Borland announced his retirement earlier this year due to concerns about concussions and CTE. Will others soon follow?
We’re not talking about torn ACLs here. Knees can be fixed. We’re talking about brain injuries. The brain is the seat of your personality. CTE will slowly destroy your personality.
Is it worth it?
I’m guessing more and more players are going to say “No” as we keep learning more about how dangerous football is to the human brain.
— 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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