NHL’s Gary Bettman testifies on concussions in hockey | Power & Politics
NHL’s Gary Bettman testifies on concussions in hockey | Power & Politics NHL’s Gary Bettman testifies on concussions in hockey | Power & PoliticsWe want another part of Westlock. I set off the beginning of the show there that NHL, commissioner, Gary Bettman, is speaking taking questions from a committee of MPS and the sport. Let’S take a listen into those proceeding right now to bring damage mental illness, substance abuse and he connected many of these issues to head trauma suffered in fights. How do you respond to that? How do you respond to a player that says that is there on this whole topic and is this dialogue is, is making clear, there’s no shortage of opinions on this subject? The good news from your standpoint is that a game – and we don’t have the bench clearing brawls of decades ago, and we don’t have third man in and there’s an instigator rule that precedes me and there’s less and less fighting than we’ve been not because the Semitic But because of the way the games now being played, that is a more organic way of dealing with the evolution of the game, but whether it’s the OHL CHL that we have less incidence of fighting than any of those leaks. So if you’re looking for us to be setting an example, the fact of the matter is, we have less fighting. Well then, you should have none quite frankly, but you don’t you and I don’t know the consequences of that and when they pulled the players a few years ago, 98 % of the players they polled said they didn’t want the rule, change and in fact, we’re moving Over to the conservatives and dr. kitchen earlier use of consistency and often times, consistency makes it a huge difference in how players reactant and how coaches Etc react to things, and I’m just wondering how you might respond on to what steps do you take when, when you See something that appears to be retaliatory, so I was involved in at McGill University playing rugby, the women’s rugby team they’re that I helped out. They had memories, remember the last time they played a person and they would bring it out right like that, and that’s what hockey players have the same way and they remember things and so, for example, just recently there was a game where there was a hit to The Head, where was out for three games, there was a suspension that person came back and then retaliated with a fight and their suspension that he got was not even close to what was done in consistency and especially when minor leagues are looking good to seeing. What the NHL is doing, the beauty of having the resources we have and the department of player safety led by former players. They know everything that’s going on the game and, if there’s an act that transcends the rules that we believe is it active retaliation. It gets out get dealt with appropriately and if we suspect, because of public statements or whatever that there’s going to be an act, palliation the clubs and the players are warned in advance. So that is absolutely critical to us. Monitoring everything that’s going on in the game. With respect to fighting, nobody has to fight. Do you have the game is also involved in that way? If you decide you don’t want to fight, you can walk away from a fight, you don’t have to do it and if, in fact, somebody tries to fight you and you’re, not fighting back, there’s a penalty for that and the officials take care of it. So I would say, probably 75 or 76 % of our players never engage in a fight. The expected that do maybe it’s 152 season, so the involvement in lots of players having low the fight, that’s from a different bygone era and the culture is now. If you choose not to fight, you don’t have to pee, okay, okay! So do you really? So you really believe that that that that that there’s going to be this organic reduction in fighting in this is going to be okay without any rule. Changes like that rule that some rule changes are going to have to be establish like a new framework. We’Re constantly monitoring and involving we meet with the general managers on a regular basis to go over what’s taking place in the game, because we’re watching every game will looking at Trends but but the the organic change that we’ve seen is you don’t see staged fight anymore? Okay, we actually proposed the rule of number years ago to get rid of stage fights in the players. Jason said no, but it evolved out of the game because, as we move the game, 2 skill and teams decided it was more important to have for skilled line. Then, to have a designated tough guy, the amount of fighting I’m the type of fighting you see now, for the most part, is emotional in the moment. Act somebody’s upset aggravated about time. We play a very fast-paced emotional game with a lot of physical contact. That is an outlet that is hopefully better than some other outlets, but again it has become an increasingly less important part of the game and how often to you review the science and the search and concussion protocol, because I noticed you mentioned you reference to the Berlin Consensus but it actually it the researches.. There are more understood and I think the protocol that you’re using isn’t as up-to-date as as the Berlin protocol. We have side experts who retained. I think there were 36 experts, medicine, scientific who, who signed onto the Berlin statement the consensus statement. We probably have three or five people involved in that. Obviously we don’t control it, but we’re involved and we’re constantly looking and evaluating and re-evaluating how it’s all working. Thank you. This is our last question. Thank you. Sister, chair, okay, I’ll try to be quick again, but this fighting debate from where I said it’s, the sand. Evolution you’ve got its its part. 2 fan interest in Park. Medical, I mean people, their fans are still like fighting the game. Agree with what you’ve said. Is this that it’s it’s a it’s a mechanism to control other issues on the ice. Doug Gilmour was once quoted as saying if you’ve been fighting all be the toughest guy. In the NHL, that’s that’s the mentality of players, but let’s, let’s move on from that will pick up on the equipment issue. Do you think that there are further changes that could be made to improve the equipment that would reduce the number of head injuries? And then my second question and I’ll leave the floor to you is forget about collective bargaining. The two of you get to Des I’d: what happens what changes? Would you make to the game to improve it in a way that would reduce the number of the concussions and head related injuries we had. We have also a subcommittee on protective equipment and that Meats regular basis and that’s something we’re constantly evaluating. I know a lot of people talk about how head helmets, concussions and helmets to different things, because the concussion is what happens inside. The helmet keeps you from getting a cracked skull, but it does necessarily stop a concussion, but we have subcommittees that need on a regular basis to deal and look at equipment and what changes are appropriate and that’s something that we continue. All of these things that relate to the game – they’re, not one off. This is a constant effort where we Personnel time energy money is spent to continuously evaluate, what’s going on in the game and to make the best judgments for the game. My second question is: what what would you do if you and the Deputy Commissioner, if you had card blocked, make any changes to the game right now I like to I like the way the game is being played right now in a way that would reduce the Number of head injuries right now believe there’s much. We can do just to give you an indication on this. I was on a campaign to get visors eyes, don’t heal particularly well, and they also reduce the incidence of fighting. It took me 20 how to get the Players Association to agree to put visors on a virtually 95 % of our players. Commissioner, Batman Deputy Commissioner daily earlier this afternoon. Batman was also asked what he could do. He said it would be in the NHL and maintain the physical element, a professional hockey of the House of Commons by pandemic secretary to the minister of Health, Robert kitchen, the conservative views critic and Cheryl Hardcastle, the ndp’s sports critic, hello to all three of you thanks. So much for joining us really appreciate it with you and I’ll pick up on that clip of Gary Bettman. He essentially, he has not seen any conclusive evidence that links a sports-related concussions to the presence of CTE. What did you think about when he said that conflicting evidence, so I think the committee will come up with the recommendations based on what the total of the evidence that they heard. What do you think so far? The evidence that you’ve heard far is there enough to convince you. There is a link. I personally think that you know many sports organizations have have found that there’s a Lincoln and you look at individuals who have had their brains examined, but I ought you know. I want to leave it up to the committee to do the report and do the work. I’M not I’m not going to be involved in the report. Writing I’m not a member of the subcommittee, so I don’t want to prejudge what what they’re going? Okay, mister kitchen! Let me ask you the same question based on the evidence that the committee has heard so far, do you think there’s a link Sports in general Swanee by mr. Batman, although you touched on the link between or talked about, concussions and CTE, the study wasn’t designed to Look at that evidence that evidence is scientific and background in and we didn’t go into that same depth with it that we did with this committee and what are the implications then for what the committee produces in the end, because it’s my understanding that that link would Obviously, help determine what kind of action, if any, should come from the outside of these Sports organizations, the government or otherwise that should be looked at from the outside, and what the sport bodies are doing. The sporting bodies need to step up and and do their proper, due diligence to make certain that they study and investigate the and how it pertains to that sport in particular. But for us, as a committee, we sat down, we listen to different sporting organizations and we look forward to compiling that information to provide us with the some, hopefully some good recommendations, Kingswood that involve them Miss Hardcastle. Obviously, a national strategy is needed for the diagnosis and treatment and prevention for this issue. It is urging this is something that we’re learning more and more about, and the science is there enough for this committee to be struck. I have to say one of the reasons that we had Vanguard, leaders and scientists in research of concussion and brain injury in sports specifically, is that we had them come together to testify at this committee, because there is Merit for it. So the role of the government and what we’re seeing and what we’ve been hearing is, when you have a national strategy to ensure that you have equal access, whether you live in an urban area or a remote area or a rural area, you need some kind of A protocol in place and that you can do leave minor organizations that are dealing with children and their mostly volunteers. You can’t leave the onus up to them. There has to be some form of support there, so I think that’s what we’ve heard and what we’re going to be able to flush out in the as we’re drafting our recommendations together as a committee. Evidence, as your two colleagues say, is, is mixed as to the link between let’s a CTE and concussions, which is the reason people are worried about the effect of concussion, because the presence of CTE is being found by researchers in professional athletes who lost their live. I think, as I said, I think that that it’s an emerging issue – okay, it’s this, isn’t all of the issues around concussion or emerging I’ve seen enough links that we are interested as a subcommittee to be studying the whole issue of concussions, because there are other symptoms As well that come from brain injury and a repetitive bring in so the onus is not to just beyond the saying yes or no, but to say how do we feel in now these research gaps, and how do we create this really meaningful strategy its? I want to say that it’s inconclusive now it’s helping us learn more and more about what else happens, as you have repetitive injuries. So ACB answer. Whatever comes of this subcommittee to sort of gear, a strategy as Miss Hardcastle, says two words more research and maybe rules around or some sort of support for minor leagues, because, of course, we’re hearing from mr. Batman who represents. The major league is really important to remember, because this study is not looking at a connection between concussions and CTE Ford and particularly in used. So I think it’s important to look at what the government’s doing, which has been investing with through parachute for education and awareness. In minor leagues, I’m just recently in the last budget, there $ 1000000 to work with fruits like Holland, bloorview to help kids get back to school after a concussion. So there’s a lot of work, that’s being done, and certainly the work of the committee was, which was really to look at concussions in sport has end with a particular focus on you. So if that’s the case Mister kitchen, what was the point of hearing from Batman, as we’ve heard many times, rukmini a lot of athletes that we have when we take it from as well as we like to say from the playground up to two are: are in Your athletes they’re starting at the base and they’re looking at these professional athletes, tartare ARA paralympians that are out there doing things and they’re emulating them and trying to to live up to those standards and their that reflects down in the committee that work all actions that The trickle-down to to the playground to the minor hockey to the minor soccer leagues. And how can we do things in and what steps can we take to make certain that there were doing everything we can as a government to make certain that our Archie protecting our parents are protected? Our coaches are protected and they’re educated on this aspect of it is slowly getting out there at least get out there faster, but we want to see that so that we can advance and is really, as I said, what’s it going to look like 26 years from Now we can really have an answer, though, value waiting, what’s going on there continually reassessing the protocols that they have on their concussion protocols and they’re screening, Etc, indicated 3 years ago they didn’t have spotters watching things in the hockey in the NHL Marvin process. We need to continue to see it involved with a question to mr. Batman sort of saying: do you expect then just organically the risk for concussions to decrease and what? What did you think of her? I can’t recall verbatim his answer to that specifically, but when I was asking that question, I think it’s. The answer in the response has been fairly consistent from Mr Batman. It’S very clear that the onus to take the lead on this issue is not going to be on the NHL under Mister Batman. They are waiting to have more evidence brought to them. Obviously, you think of that. Well, that’s informative! As a committee, that’s informative to me as a committee knowing now, how do I formulate my recommendations in my focus now this is about people, athletes are devastated, their affair did by concussion and so are their families, and I don’t care what age they are, and I Want to be able to articulate recommendations, and I can say that at least we heard very loud and clear mr. Batman spoke with a lot of Candor about are concealed. The NHL is in the status quo, so I had to respect. Stance and now I know how I can Advocate on the committee for Effective and responsive recommendation. Is that stance? What do you think with regards to concussion and it’s no longer about opinion? We’Ve got enough information to help us make choices, informed choices, it’s no longer about opinions and beliefs, it’s about choices and a path forward, and when we don’t have information, we can even articulate that in a recommendation, let’s research, more decisive information about this issue, let’s figure Out mr. Batman told us it’s very hard for them to share data Pharrell a lot of proprietary reasons. Is there a role for the government in that you know? So there are ways we can move forward, suing the NHL for what they consider negligence on this issue. This isn’t innocuous right. This isn’t just asking you been listening to the testimony. Mr. Batman made his point clear. The NHL is not going to change its policies in any way whatsoever. He does not think the game could be improved. What’S the risk reduce the risk of concussions? Do you think that’s right or wrong, and I think that’s why we’re investing in research? Let’S, let’s get the evidence that we need and if that’s what Mr Batman needs, then we need to be investing in research, Canadian, safe, and we want to keep you safe when they’re playing sports. We want to encourage them to be playing sports. We don’t want parents to be fearful and taking the kids out of sports because of the fear of him getting a concussion or a head injury all your time today. Thank you so much., thanks for watching NHL commissioner Gary Bettman testified at a parliamentary committee studying concussions in sport. Bettman said banning hits to the head in hockey would mean an end to all hits in the NHL.
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