Hockey cul­ture’s un­just streak

The Globe and Mail (Prairie Edition) - - GLOBE FOCUS -

There is some­thing un­just and pos­si­bly im­moral in a Cana­dian hockey cul­ture that has al­ways en­cour­aged the body check­ing of an op­pos­ing player whose head is down and there­fore in an ex­tremely vul­ner­a­ble po­si­tion (Win­nipeg Jets Rookie Pa­trik Laine Out In­def­i­nitely With Con­cus­sion – Sports, Jan. 9).

In this in­stance, Pa­trik Laine, an 18-year-old who is likely not yet fully grown and neu­ro­log­i­cally de­vel­oped, takes a dev­as­tat­ing hit at speed while look­ing be­hind to re­ceive a pass. This is sim­ply wrong. You can­not al­ways have your head up, as this play demon­strates so clearly. This kind of check­ing be­longs in the same cat­e­gory as the blindsided and hit-from-be­hind body checks, which are il­le­gal.

Ei­ther the Na­tional Hockey League gets se­ri­ous about con­cus­sions or it risks be­ing run out of busi­ness by class-ac­tion law­suits or, per­haps even more likely, by the de­ser­tion of fans who are sick of see­ing grace­ful, gifted play­ers felled by cheap shots. – Brian Deady, MD, New West­min­ster, B.C.

Let­ters to the Edi­tor should be ex­clu­sive to The Globe and Mail. In­clude name, ad­dress and day­time phone num­ber. Keep let­ters un­der 150 words. Let­ters may be edited for length and clar­ity. E-mail: let­ters@globe­and­

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