Lawsuit by hockey player’s family has little merit

About 2 years ago, hockey player Derek Boogaard died from an overdose of painkillers.

If you follow one story, he was an NHL just to fight other players. The New York Rangers were paying him $1.6 million a year to do so – way more than a good chunk of the NHL players do and especially for a guy who will spend more time in the penalty box [and maybe on the injury list] than most players.

His family is suing the National Hockey League claiming that they should have done more to prevent Boogaard’s brain injuries and his addiction to pain killers.

Just like the National Football League, the [ex-]NHL players are coming out of the woodwork complaining about various ailments related to concussions. They say that the NHL should have responded sooner.

Boogaard knew he signed his contract that had just one job and one job only – to fight other goons in the NHL [while it is probably not worded in his contract I am sure he was informed as well as his agent, his family, etc.]. He wasn’t there to score or anything else.

Anyone who plays hockey [and for that matter football] know that there is a risk of getting a concussion and it increases if you are the team’s designated goon. He knew that when he signed the contract. Concussions didn’t start to appear last year. They have been known for years.

Take the NHL to court? For what? Something he and his family already knew? He could of quit the game or maybe told his coach that he doesn’t want to fight. It was his choice. Was he pressured? Maybe. But it was still his choice. They could of said, fight or lose your job. Making $1.6 million a year is no pocket change. For the typical person, that is about 20 years of a good salary. And he played for a number of seasons.

As for the pill aspect, the story goes that he was playing for the Minnesota Wild where he had more than 40 prescriptions for 1,023 pills. If so, why go after the NHL when it was Minnesota Wild that probably started his drug addiction. Take them to court. Looks like there is some incompetency with the doctors there.

While it is too bad that he died, the Boogaard is at least partially to blame. The Minnesota Wild could also be blamed. In fact, NHL players [like any professional sport] have physicals prior to the season begins at training camp. Surely between the physical as well as seeing anything “odd” in his well-being or behaviour during would have raised a few alarm bells. Or how about his family? Surely if his mood or behaviour was different, wouldn’t they notice it as well? With recent issues related to cracking down on using illegal substances, you would figure testing of various drugs would be included.

Like any life insurance [and assuming here], the insurance isn’t paid out if death is from a suicide. I may be wrong here but since the estate can’t get any money from the insurance, the estate lawyers are going after the NHL with this law suit.

NFL players take league to court – good luck

Former NFL players are trying to sue the league over concussion-linked injuries argued in court that the NFL “glorified” violence and profited from damaging hits to the head that the players suffered over the years. The players’ lawyer also accused the league of concealing the emerging science about concussions over several decades.

About 4,200 of the league’s 12,000 former players have joined the litigation. Some are battling dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, as well as other issues such as depression. They say the league is at fault for rushing them back on the field after concussions. Some have committed suicide with claims the suicide were related to the injuries.

The NFL insisted that teams are chiefly responsible for health and safety under the players’ collective bargaining agreement, along with others. [So you have the players blaming the league who are sort of blaming the teams. Nice.]

The judge is not expected to rule for several months, and the cases will take years to play out if the judge’s ruling is appealed when handed down.

While I think it is a bad situation for the players, you have to wonder about the following:

  • Why isn’t the player’s union going after the high schools, colleges and universities? Surely some head related injuries occurred at those places. In fact, professional teams can probably diagnose head injuries better than most schools because they can afford to get better medical help. Some injuries probably started in these schools but got worse when they turned “pro”. Can a high school that can barely function afford to have their player’s checked for a concussion.
  • Football [like hockey] is a contact sport. It is very unlikely you can have a full career and not get injured from something. As many players are running at opposing players at high speed, the helmets from both players will eventually meet [if not getting hit when a bunch of players land on a player]. They knew this from the time they started to play football.
  • You have the player’s union blaming the league who in turn is blaming the teams. The teams hired medical staff. The medical staff would give the “ok” to play again. But I’m sure many players shouldn’t of played immediately because some of them may still have not been healed completely but played for various reasons [money, like the “rush”, etc.].

NFL players file lawsuite over concussions

Here’s a good joke. More than 60 former NFL players have filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles today [May 14th], joining hundreds of others who claim the NFL didn’t properly protect its players from concussions.

Huh? The players play in a sport where concussions is probably a top five in the leading injuries to players. They knew it when they first put on a uniform before their first NFL game – before their first college game – probably even before their first high school game.

If they have someone to blame, they should be blaming their players union for not trying to protect them. While the NFL have cut down on the number of head shots recently, the players union could of asked the NFL to do something years ago.

But there is no way to stop a concussion when two players are aiming at each other or one gets flipped in the air and lands head first. To stop this, you might as well play flag football.

Ever say the George Clooney Leatherheads? See what they wore in the 1920s. Not much more than a padded leather hat. Fast forward to the 1950s, and the helmet has improved but still not as “modern” as the current helmets.

The players knew of the risk when they signed these multimillion dollar contracts to play 16 games [plus playoffs]. For some players, you’re talking $250,000 or more a game. It is a risk they take. [Even with concussions, they could retire nicely before they hit 40 years old – assuming they don’t spend their money on bling, drugs, bad investments, 20 high prices vehicles, $20 million dollar mansion, …]

Is this all coming from the Sidney Crosby concussion “legacy”? Probably.