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Here’s The NHL Privately Discussing The Concussion Problem It Has Publicly Denied
Time after time, the NHL has been asked about and proceeded to deny the link between on-ice fighting, concussions and long-term health consequences. In 2015, commissioner Gary Bettman even claimed that there was “no evidence” of that connection — no “statistical correlation” between the fracases in the NHL’s rinks and degenerative diseases like chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) that have been found in the brains of some of its deceased players.
But emails recently unsealed by a U.S. federal court and published by CTV W5 on Monday indicate that, at least as far back as September 2011, several of the league’s senior officials believed that such a link likely does exist.
One such email, written on Sept. 3, 2011, by NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly to Bettman along with another high-up official, frames the issue as a chain reaction of sorts — a domino-like series of events that begins with on-ice trauma and ends with serious mental illness.
“Fighting raises the incidence of head injuries/concussions, which raises the incidence of depression onset, which raises the incidence of personal tragedies,” he wrote.
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