Monday, January 24, 2011

Head injuries in NHL and NFL are preventable

Sydney Crosby has not played in his team's last six or seven games, because he has a concussion from two hits to his head, one a blindside shoulder to his head from a player named Stekel from the Washington Capitols, another from a boarding incident initiated by a Florida Panther named Hedman. In neither case was the offending player even penalyzed, not during the game, nor afterwards by the league office.
Here is the best player in the league (and the world) whose career may be threatened (just intuition, there is no medical report yet to confirm how serious the injury is) in a sport where the business, dollars, and profit of the owners is more important than the health of its best players.
So much for extreme capitalism!
So much for a second sport, after North American football (specifically the NFL) in which the potential to injure one's opponent is now taken as a way to both attract attention and a way to ensure the defeat of that opponent, in the name of money....both the contract for the players in the stratosphere, the sales for the advertisers and the profits for the owners.
And then of course, there is the "blood lust" of the sports fans, whose insatiable appetite for violence is only partially satisfied by these rich gladiators, who believe that their pursuit of their "dream" is their ticket to happiness, regardless of the risk.
We at the do not believe that the interests of the long-term viability of these sports is served by the continual recurrence of these injuries to the best and the brightest stars in both leagues. While it is true that injuries are an integral part of all athletic events, it is also true that the supply of potential stars is not limitless, as is the greed, and the need for instant gratification of both the investors and the subscribers.
Here is one more stage where the "laissez-faire approach, without adequate regulation and oversight, leaves the field devastated with the ruined legacies of many of the best players. Furthermore, we heartily endorse all efforts to remove any attempt to injure and any attempt to strike an opponent's head indirectly or directly, regardless of motive, in both the NHL and the NFL. However, with respect to the credibility of both league managements, we are not convinced that their long-term strategy is not trumped by their short-term approach of "leave the game as it is" because that's what the fans pay for and that's what lines out pockets.
Is this not just another version of the serfdom that infects the marketplace, in which the employer has little regard for the well-being of the worker, so long as the profits roll in?
Some people are attempting to do something about this horrible legacy of sport injuries.
The mission of the Sports Legacy Institute is to advance the study, treatment and prevention of the effects of brain trauma in athletes and other at-risk groups. SLI was founded in 2007 to “Solve the Sports Concussion Crisis,” and in 2009, SLI launched programs to also serve our military veterans. SLI is primarily focused on the study of the degenerative brain disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE, a condition caused by repetitive concussive and sub-concussive brain injuries. (From the Sport Legacy Institute website,

No comments:

Post a Comment