U.S. Senator urges Bettman to change stance on CTE in letter
United States Senator Richard Blumenthal has made another plea to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, urging him to change his stance on the topic of head injuries and possible Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in players.
Blumenthal stated his extreme displeasure with Bettman's views on a possible link between repeated blows to the head and CTE back in late July, and on Monday penned a letter which included suggestions to Bettman on how he and the league should proceed with the matter.
In the letter, Blumenthal asked why the league was so quick to discard evidence from researchers in the field, despite claiming to have the players' best interests at heart.
"The league's position is entangled in conflicting, mixed messages. The NHL insists that player safely is sacrosanct - a 'top priority' for the league - and recognizes the many dangers of concussions and head impacts. Your letter notes concussions can cause 'long-term lasting effects' like 'permanent brain injury' and 'permanent brain damage.' But the league appears unwilling to consider even the possibility that concussions cause CTE."
In his response to Blumenthal back in July, Bettman warned the Senator not to give in to "speculation and fear mongering," suggesting evidence that a relationship between concussions and CTE is still not concrete.
Blumenthal concluded his letter to Bettman by pleading for the league to be proactive in setting an example for all players on the subject, and suggested the league create a foundation dedicated to researching the matter.
"An investment in such research literally would help save lives - and enable the league to lead by example. It would put the NHL on the right side of history and health. Your apparent current indifference is a disservice to fans and players.
I invite you to re-evaluate and resubmit your response, delineating the steps you are taking to advance science instead of dismissing it."