Welcome to this week’s installment of On The Mind Weekly. This week, we’ll we talking about the issue of athletic concussions in the worlds of hockey and rugby.
New York Times – In N.H.L. Concussion Lawsuit, Gary Bettman Opts to Fight
The National Hockey League has been continually resisting efforts by a number of retired former players to receive compensation for head trauma received during time in the league. League Commissioner Gary Bettman has both been fighting to get every case against the NHL dismissed and questioning the link between hits to the head and declines in long-term brain function.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now – Kingerski: Hockey Concussion Solutions Tainted by Culture, Lawyers
Since the issue of head trauma has become better known, fewer than 200 former NHL players have endeavored to sue the organization, compared to more than 4000 NFL players suing their organization over the same issue. One factor leading to this could be the difference in athletic culture, with Hockey culture placing a high emphasis on personal responsibility and treating some injuries as heroic. A player might feel pressured to not mention an injury, or might feel that they should take on the blame and not fault the NHL at all. While there is a clear trajectory for football when it comes to concussions, the same issue is much more up in the air for the hockey.
The Guardian – Rugby tackle height law to be changed in trial to prevent concussion incidents
To reduce risk of head injury, the Rugby Football Union is lowering the minimum height for a legal tackle. Concussions made up more than a fifth of all injuries in the last seven rugby seasons, and tackles account for nearly half of all rugby injuries in general, so this change could be significant for the sport.