Following a recent failed attempt to bring light to concussions in pro hockey, two players have received concussions in the past week.
At the tail end of 2018, a settlement was reached between the NHL and hundreds of former hockey players. It was more a formality than anything, offering less than $100,000 in coverage for each player. In comparison to the 2013 NFL settlement of upwards of $5 million a player, this is a joke.
The National Hockey League absolutely has the resources to help former players, but greed always trumps health when it comes to owners. In hindsight, we can see that the NFL settlement was riddle with problems and the owners tried to make it as difficult as possible to receive compensation for past head injuries. If we’re using that settlement in a good light as a comparison, you know the NHL really messed up.
In both sports you have men in pads launching themselves at full speeds at each other. Plus with hockey, sometimes you’ll get smacked with a stick or puck. It’s now 2019, and there is more than enough science available to indicate head injuries resulting from sports are NOT OKAY!
For any owner’s to refute science for any reason is a joke, and an insult to good science. The fact of the matter is that heavily physical sports are dangerous, period. If you’re going to continue to have the sport be played, you must take precautions to prevent head injuries, and in the event a head injury does occur, you must take care of the player and keep his long-term health in mind.
Last night, Kyle Okposo of the Buffalo Sabres was diagnosed with a concussion. For Okposo, this is his third concussion in as many years. In his last concussion, he ended up having issues sleeping and lost significant weight. That concussion he received from a typical hit in practice. Not even a hard hit in a game, but literally while practicing for the real thing.
This morning, Nazem Kadri of the Toronto Maple Leafs was also diagnosed with a concussion. This one was a result of a hard hit in game, but it took him less than 5 minutes of play to come away injured.
This is not the end of concussions in the NHL, simply because of the aggressive, physical nature of play. Concussions are a part of the game, but feigning ignorance and claiming there are no long-term effects resulting them is ridiculous. This must be coming from owners that have never received a concussion, or frankly they received too many to be aware of just how wrong they are. The bottom line is this: take care of the players that sacrifice their body to earn you millions.