For years NHL players have been suffering repeated brain trauma due to concussions sustained while playing the game. According to an article in The Manitoban on November 25th nine retired NHL players filed a class-action lawsuit against the NHL for failing to protect players from the effects of repeated brain trauma due to concussions. Now, as reported by CTV News more than 200 NHL players have joined this lawsuit.In the Manitoban article it states that, The original suit alleges that the NHL knew, or should have known, about the dangerous effects of repeated concussive injuries to players brains, and negligently failed to provide that information to players and take steps to protect them from getting hurt.
It was not until 1997 that the NHL introduced the Concussion Program, which initiated baseline brain testing for its players and required its team doctors and trainers to maintain records of all players believed to have suffered concussions. However, the lawsuit claims that this program had no effect until 2011 14 years after the program began when a report was published that discussed only the number of concussions in the NHL for the regular seasons from 1997-2004.
There is no negating the potential dangers that come from participating in this highly aggressive and contact sport. However, some players are speaking out against this lawsuit, saying that it is part of the game and justifies their pay cheques! Sidney Crosby (who has suffered many concussions throughout his career) stated, The games physical. Thats what we signed up for. We played since we were young. We all understand the risks that come with it.
With NHL players on both sides of the argument it will be interesting to see the end result.
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