New Balance WT20GR Size Women Grey Orange Size WT20GR 10.0 New e8ac1d

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Published 19 April 2016 | Authored by: Ryan Lake

Women's Durango Boot DRD0308 Music City Western Embossed High Top, This is first in a series of blogs by Ryan Lake. The blogs are intended to give an overview of some of the contemporary legal issues impacting the sport of ice hockey, with a strong focus on the National Hockey League (“NHL”). Readers are encouraged to leave comments and participate in debates around the topics raised.

This blog examines the difficult and concerning issue of player concussions, focusing on a review of the ongoing consolidated litigation by ex-players against the NHL relating to the long-term effects of concussion and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (“CTE”).


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Concussion background

Women's Durango Boot RD510 11, The true extent of brain damage after suffering multiple concussions in sport was not scientifically discovered until the untimely death of Mike Webster in 2002.1 Webster was a Hall of Fame football player for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the National Football League (“NFL”).2 After playing 17 years in the NFL and suffering multiple concussions, Webster started to experience symptoms normally only shown in people suffering from dementia and was prescribed a powerful cocktail of medications.3 In 2002, at the age of 50, Webster died from heart failure.

The pathologist on call at the Allegheny Medical Coroner’s office the day Webster died was Dr. Bennet Omalu.4 Dr. Omalu, conducted several tests on Webster’s brain, in the hope of discovering what was causing his symptoms. What Dr. Omalu found would change medical and sports history. Dr. Omalu described Webster’s brain “as one of boxers, very old people with Alzheimer’s disease or someone who had suffered a severe head wound.5 Dr. Omalu published his findings and named his discovery CTE.

A medical diagnosis of CTE can only be made after a posthumous examination of the brain. Over the next ten years, several former NFL and College football players were diagnosed with CTE, including, Terry Long, Andre Waters, Tom McHale, Owen Thomas, Dave Duerson, Ray Easterling, and Junior Seau, among others.6

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Synthetic/Mesh upper provides lightweight comfort and supportOdor resistantDeconstructed ACTEVA midsole provides great flexibility and a featherweight cushionMinimal Vibram outsole for lightweight traction and durabilityAn entirely different approach to trail running than the traditional running shoe, the WT20 New Balance Minimus Trail takes the proven versatile durability of a Vibram outsole and combines it with a fitted, extremely minimalist upper that's comfortable with or without socks. This companion to the WT10 Minimus Trail features a modified upper on the same comfortable sole unit as its popular counterpart, creating a near-barefoot experience on the trail.NB Minimus is a whole new approach to footwear, a place on the spectrum from barefoot running to the traditional maximum-cushioning running shoe. Inspired by Good Form Running and designed to be worn with or without socks. With only a 4mm drop from heel to toe, as little as a third of that of a traditional running shoe, the NB Minimus collection holds a world of discovery for neutral runners; additionally, Good Form Running teaches methods of improvement for those seeking to conquer gait issues.

After the discovery of CTE and the multitude of deaths associated with the disease, former NFL players filed a lawsuit against the NFL. Additionally, the U.S. Congress launched a former investigation in the NFL and its handling of players suffering from concussions.7

These events not only impacted the NFL but had ramifications throughout the sporting world.


CTE and the National Hockey League

The summer of 2011 was one of the most tragic periods in the history of the NHL. That summer saw the deaths of Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Leafe Wade Belak in a span of four months. Boogaard, Rypien, and Belak, all played the role of enforcer during their NHL careers. An enforcer, in hockey terms, is a designated player given the responsibility and task of defending the other players on his team from cheap shots and other dirty plays. Enforcers tend to accomplish this task by playing a very physical game and specialize in the art of fighting. The three players also shared many of the common symptoms of CTE.8

It is reported that it is common for those who suffer from CTE to become depressed and resort to the use of drugs and alcohol to cope with the disease.9 Boogaard, Rypien, and Belak all suffered these symptoms towards the end of their lives.10

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About the Author

Ryan Lake

Ryan is an American attorney at Lake Law Group, LLC and a sports consultant at Beyond the Playbook. He works extensively on ice hockey, soccer, baseball, basketball and Olympic movement issues. Ryan is also an Adjunct Professor at St. John’s University School of Law.

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