The National Hockey League is skating around the brain-injury problem

June 24, 2018
The Washington Post

Extensive portions of video depositions related to a concussion lawsuit brought against the National Hockey League by about 150 former players became public this month. The videos include sworn testimony from Commissioner Gary Bettman, Boston Bruins owner and chairman of the league’s Board of Governors Jeremy Jacobs, other team owners, senior league executives and doctors.

The video depositions make for infuriating viewing.

“You’ve seen all the research and the data,” Bettman said, responding to an opposing lawyer during his July 2015 examination, which lasted several hours. “There’s no medical or scientific certainty that concussions lead to CTE.” Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, is a degenerative brain disease that has been found in athletes including professional hockey and football players, as well as soldiers and others who have suffered repeated brain injuries. Symptoms of CTE include cognitive impairment, depression, emotional instability and suicidal thoughts.

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