How strong is the link between Brain Injuries and Contact Sports?

Over the last decade, we have seen growing concern for those who suffer head trauma, namely from contact spots. In a recent article that CBC had written, an interview with ex-wife of former Toronto Maple Leafs enformer Wade Belak (so many formers), Jessica Belak Liang, blamed the NHL for his death.

Why is hockey to blame for his death? The fighting of course, the role of the enforcer that the league is trying to get rid of it seems.

She spoke of Wade Belak having trouble with his mood, often forgetting things, she also said things like Wade somehow thinking that “if he stopped fighting, he wouldn’t be allowed to stay here (in the NHL)”, also that he knew the role he played, he didn’t love it.

Todd Ewen is another player that had comitted suicide, possibly due to CTE. In 2013, he told his wife Kelli, that he didn’t want to be a burden anymore. Not realizing how serious his feelings of regreat, guilt and despair, she found her husband dead in their home near St. Louis on September 19th, 2015; Todd Ewen was 49.

Kelli Ewen had the brain of her late husband tested twice, once in Toronto where the doctor had ruled out CTE and refused to retest, and once in Boston, where the doctors have concluded that Todd Ewen did suffer from CTE. They all are quick to blame the NHL’s Gary Bettman, because there are a handful of players as well. Eric Lindros wasn’t the same after he took a massive blow to the head from forward Scott Stevens, Lindros had 4 conccussions total almost ending his career, Lindros came to play for Toronto (yeah, Toronto is full of hypocrisy).

Almost no one mentions Eric Lindros whom, after retiring with the Dallas Stars, led a very sucessful post-hockey career. So what are you really trying to do, ladies? I wonder if you really care about the game and these men, in any case having a brain injury myself I decided to do some research myself.

I wanted a fresh look into the issue off concussions, and found this websit that had an article written in 2018. According to a study written in the Sports Medicine, a journal published by Springer International, elite athletes at least 17 years old were considered from 4 different databases.

The data is a bit different, as in it produce the number of concoscions per a certain number of “Athletic Exposures”, which means the time in which a player participates in a game or practise. On the website,, they preseented the list of results, and I will post them here;

Game Play

  1. Men’s rugby match play (3.00/1,000 AE)
  2. Men’s American football (2.5/1,000 AE)
  3. Women’s ice hockey (2.27/1,000 AE)
  4. Men’s Ice hockey (1.63/1,000 AE)
  5. Women’s soccer (1.48/1,000 AE)
  6. Men’s football (or soccer) (1.07/1,000 AE)

During practice

  1. Men’s rugby (0.37/1,000 AE)
  2. Women’s ice hockey (0.31/1,000 AE)
  3. Men’s American football (0.30/1,000 AE)
  4. Women’s football (or soccer) (0.13/1,000 AE)
  5. Men’s ice hockey (0.12/1,000 AE)
  6. Men’s football (or soccer) (0.08/1,000 AE)


The website used three different studies that used meta-analyses, the study that these results were found in was funded by FIFA, in case you were wondering. The suthors go on to say that as much as 50% of all concussions do go unreported, for a variety of reasons.

Take this information with a grain of salt though, or you can be salty to people who complain about the fighting in men’s hockey as detrimental and believe that the firing of Don Cherry, who advocated for keeping the fighting in the game, was a great move to ending the head trauma in sports.

The fact that people have head trauma is not indicative of suicide, many players who are believed to have CTE often worry about if they are going to commit suicide. and I get it; the world doesn’t want you here. I think the lack of knowledge, possibly even no support or maladaptive cognitions after a head injury can lead to a suicide.

What can I say about Jessica Belak Liang, did she want to be married to Wade any longer? Todd Ewen felt like he was a burden on his wife, I’m not here to throw blame on these women; yet, do women ever think about the blame and responsibility they place on men? Did they ever consider the blame and responsibility that these men already place on themselves, like fuck.

If fighting cause concussions, wouldn’t there be more focus on prize-fighting?

*In memory of the thousands of people, who took their lives by suicide. Whether you were in the hotel room with a hooker or not, Wade Belak this one’s for you.*

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