Ralph Nader asks Gary Bettman to ban fighting

February 7, 2012, 8:25 pm
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Ralph Nader, famed consumer advocate, political activist and several-time presidential candidate, has fired off an open letter to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. The topic? Head injuries, and why the NHL isn't doing more to prevent them by banning fighting in the sport.
"Fighting in hockey can no longer be a long-debated issue pitting those who find it barbaric and unsportsmanlike and those who argue that its an integral part of the fabric of the game. The growing mound of research on sports concussions and brain injuries has taken the fighting issue to an entirely different level. Were talking about short-and-long-term damage to the brain, the very foundation of who we are as people."Nader posted his letter on his new website dedicated to sports called "League of Fans," and describes the site this way:"League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to encourage social & civic responsibility in sports industry & culture."Nader goes on in his letter to Bettman to point out careers which have been shortened, and untimely deaths to former players that could be attributed to to head injuries:"Repeated head trauma has shortened the careers of Pat LaFontaine, Eric Lindros, and Keith Primeau. Currently, concussions are threatening the careers of Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby and the Philadelphia Flyers Chris Pronger. Three enforcers, Derek Boogard, Rick Rypien, and Wade Belak, whose primary job was to protect teammates by throwing fists at the heads of opponents, have died in the past year. Its certainly possible the brain trauma they received on the ice from their fellow combatants played a significant role in their deaths."You can read Nader's full letter asking NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to ban fighting on League of Fans here.