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Chris Simon’s death puts spotlight on hockey and CTE: ‘The NHL is going the Big Tobacco route’

The recent passing of former NHL player Chris Simon has brought the issue of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) back into the spotlight. His death has raised concerns over the safety of players in professional hockey and has drawn comparisons to the tactics used by the tobacco industry in the past.

CTE is a degenerative brain disease that has been found in many former athletes who have experienced repeated head trauma. In the case of Chris Simon, his career as an enforcer in the NHL likely exposed him to numerous concussions and subconcussive impacts, increasing his risk of developing CTE.

The NHL’s Response

Despite growing evidence linking hockey to CTE, the NHL has been criticized for not taking sufficient action to protect its players. The league has been accused of prioritizing profits over player safety, much like the Big Tobacco companies did in the past.

Parallel to Big Tobacco

The comparison between the NHL and Big Tobacco is striking. Just as tobacco companies denied the harmful effects of smoking for years, the NHL has been slow to acknowledge the link between hockey and CTE. Both industries have faced criticism for putting financial interests ahead of public health.

The Need for Change

In light of Chris Simon’s death, there is a pressing need for the NHL to address the issue of player safety. The league must take proactive measures to reduce the risk of head injuries and protect its athletes from the long-term consequences of CTE.

The death of Chris Simon serves as a stark reminder of the dangers that professional hockey players face. The NHL must learn from the mistakes of the past and prioritize the well-being of its athletes over financial gain. Failure to do so could lead the league down the same dangerous path as Big Tobacco, with devastating consequences for its players.