I have never met the newest CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie but he seems like a nice enough guy and smart as well.
He is an upgrade from the previous commish, Jeffrey Orridge in that he’s a former player and so should have more insight as to what the players are all about, including their concerns.
There is one exception however and I’m not sure how to read this stance he has taken on football-related concussions and degenerative brain disease.
Ambrosie says he needs more time to meet with experts and examine the relationship. On the surface it sounds like a reasonable stance but here’s something to digest Randy.
A recent study released by the Journal of the American Medical Association came out with a startling revelation on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
The degenerative brain disease was discovered in 110 out of 111 brains of NFL players who have passed away and donated their brains for study. Let me repeat that-110 out of 111. Even in Donald Trump’s fantasy world where science doesn’t exist it’s a number which one cannot ignore.
The NFL admitted there is a connection between the two back in March but the CFL is lagging.
Former commissioner Orridge said he refused to acknowledge a link between concussions and CTE. Ambrosie is tip-toeing down the same path somewhat by saying he needs more time to reach a conclusion.
My thought on this is it’s not so much a medical issue which the CFL needs more information on but a legal one. Let’s remember, this is a league where many players are still working during the winter months as the football salary isn’t something they are all going to retire on. The league isn’t exactly flush with cash.
Add to the fact there is a pending $200 million civil lawsuit from former players Korey Banks and Eric Allen (along with about 200 other participants) and you can see why any admission to the previous statement has a dollar sign attached to it, making lawyers nervous.
Now one doctor says their facts show not everyone who has suffered multiple concussions ends up with CTE but the signs are showing the more you get your brain rattled, the risk of getting CTE is increased. It’s kind of like running into a wall with your car. Even at a slow speed you are going to start making a dent.
The same neurologist is involved in a study of 100 former CFL players and after looking at about one quarter of then she says there is evidence of a connection. Maybe Jeffrey missed that study and maybe Randy needs to sit down and give it a read.
The CFL and the Player’s Association has made a move to help by banning full-contact padded practices and teams will get an extra bye week to help. Meanwhile, a Florida company is currently developing a nasal steroid spray which can be given within minutes after a trauma to the head. It works at the cellular level to reduce inflammation and help brain cells survive.
These are all good steps in the right direction but while the CFL brain-trust (pun intended) sits on it’s collective hands, waiting for more evidence, the same evidence continues to pile up in the other side.
The time to act is now when it comes to finally admitting there is a connection.
It’s a no-brainer.