Hockey culture’s unjust streak
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.
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