How Can a Sport Whose Sole Purpose Is To Cause Brain Damage in One’s Opponent Still Be Legal?

By Ken Reed

Patrick Day is dead. At 27. Because of a blow to the head suffered during a boxing match. How senseless.

Maxim Dadashev, another boxer, is also dead. At age 28. So is Hugo Alfredo Santillan, an Argentine boxer. Dead at 23.

So much of life ahead of them. Wiped out by a sport whose sole purpose is to inflict brain damage on one’s opponent (yes, that’s what a “knockout” is).

Those three pro boxers died this year after suffering traumatic brain injuries in the ring. Yet, somehow boxing remains a legal activity in the United States, despite all we know about the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), concussions and the dangers of repetitive sub-concussive blows to the brain.

How barbaric are we?

“It becomes very difficult to explain away or justify the dangers of boxing at a time like this,” wrote boxing promoter Lou DiBella, Patrick Day’s promoter, on his website earlier this month.

It’s not just difficult to explain, Mr. DiBella, it’s impossible.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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