Monday, 25 November 2019

The Cost Of Concussions

If there's one thing that the CBC does well - maybe better than any other Canadian broadcaster - it's their investigative journalism programs. Whether it be Marketplace, The Investigators, or The Fifth Estate, the CBC seems to dig into subjects deeper than anyone else, and they usually cut to the bone when it comes to how they deliver their findings. Count me as a fan of these programs because they normally shed light on subjects that either no one is talking about or no one wants to talk about in our daily lives.

While a vast number of people across Canada were watching the CFL's Grey Cup game last night as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers downed the Hamilton Tiger Cats to end 29 years of heartbreak, the CBC was airing The Fifth Estate's latest piece of amazing journalism entitled Hockey Fight: Wives Reveal the Cost of Concussions. If you missed it, I implore you to watch the episode below.

Before we get to that, we need to remember that there are players at all levels who are suffering from concussions and concussion-related problems both during their careers and after their careers. The NHL has maintained that there is zero correlation between professional hockey at the NHL level and concussions or concussion-related problems. After players such as Wade Belak, Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien, and Todd Ewen took their own lives, the wives of these players and the wives of players still alive who suffer from these symptoms are now speaking out about the NHL's responsibility in protecting players from what seems to be an uncertain future thanks to the injuries these players suffered while playing as "enforcers" in the NHL.

I'll let Bob McKeown take it from here. Below is The Fifth Estate's look at the cost of concussions in former NHL players that aired Sunday, November 24 on the CBC. I want to warn everyone that the topics in this program are for a mature audience, and there is some adult language. Viewer discretion is advised.

That's a pretty heavy topic for a Monday, but I think that The Fifth Estate did an excellent job at opening up discussion at the very least. These women cared and care for these men who are putting their bodies on the line night-in and night-out, and the NHL is essentially saying thanks for making us money, but you're on your own. As Kelli Ewen stated in the episode, it's about accepting responsibility. It's not about the money for her or for Jennifer Belak or for Ela Carcillo. Thank you, CBC and The Fifth Estate, for allowing these women to tell their stories about the men they care for so deeply.

If you missed the episode of The Hockey Show where I spoke with Jeremy Allingham about his new book Major Misconduct, you heard the stories of three men whose lives have essentially been shattered by concussions and concussion-related injuries. While James McEwen and Dale Purinton have found the light after falling into the darkness, there's still a lot to be worried about when it comes to the health and safety of Stephen Peat. I highly recommend you listen to Jeremy speak about these men who he interviewed for Major Misconduct to hear his plea for the NHL to reconsider its position on the matter. The podcast for the episode is posted below.

I want to give a big stick-tap to The Fifth Estate for their work in bringing this topic to light once more. It's very clear from the new science, tools, and understanding of concussions that this problem isn't going away, and will likely only get worse with the clear and repeated denials from the NHL about their part in the injuries sustained by the men who play the game.

I stand with Kelli Ewen, Jennifer Belak, Daniel and Ela Carcillo, and Jeremy Allingham in their efforts to have the NHL held accountable for their part in these awful stories and unfortunate tragedies.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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