News that former NHL enforcer Todd Ewen's recent death was ruled a suicide saddened me. There is no doubt in my mind that competitive sports exact a physical and mental toll on professional athletes -- deaths are not just the consequences of a violent game and the long-term nefarious effects of injuries incurred on these athlete's bodies and brains, but a reflection of a society that does not allow for its men to be weak.
Hockey Canada has banned bodychecking at the peewee level, and Don Cherry is outraged. Cherry concedes that Hockey Canada has good intentions, but as he notes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The intention here is to save children from brain injury, that is, concussions. Hockey Canada has taken a small step toward protecting players from being injured in the first place. But they have to do much more if they sincerely want to protect players from concussions. Despite what one assumes, helmets do not protect anyone from concussion.
Increasing numbers of military veterans are entering the U.S. prison system. Why? A recent study highlights the important role that anger can play in how well veterans reintegrate into society after traumatic tours of duty -- and how likely they are to run into problems in prison, if that's where they end up.
When Junior Seau's girlfriend found him dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home in Oceanside, California, speculation arose over the similarity between his death and the suicides of other NFL stars. Though a recent autopsy report ruled out brain damage and drugs and alcohol in Seau's death, this is just part of a disturbing trend in recent years with former NFL players committing suicide in similar ways, showing that far more needs to be done.