The Negligence of Sports Organizations; How to Avoid an Accident

An injured hockey player is attended to on the ice by the team doctor.

The National Hockey League (NHL) has a history of being slow to implement safety measures, which has raised concerns about player injuries. While helmets and goalie masks were mandated for new players in 1979, it was not until 2013 that eye-protecting visors became mandatory, though veterans were grandfathered in. Some players still opt not to wear them. Despite numerous incidents of broken jaws, smashed noses, and concussions, full-face shields or cages have not become mandatory at any level of professional men’s Hockey.

The recent tragic death of an American player due to a skate blade to the neck during a game in England has reignited the debate over the need for cut-resistant protection and why more players do not use it. This incident, along with previous injuries, has highlighted the importance of safety in Hockey.

Injury incidents like Erik Karlsson’s Achilles tendon injury and Evander Kane’s sliced wrist have brought attention to the need for improved safety measures. The death of a prep school player in Connecticut in 2022 and the recent fatality of former NHL player Adam Johnson have brought the issue to the forefront once again.

Neck guards and cut protection for wrists and the back of players’ legs are not mandatory in the NHL. Some players have been reluctant to adopt these safety measures due to concerns about comfort on the ice. However, players like Karlsson, who experienced a devastating injury, have promoted the use of cut-proof socks made from materials like Kevlar and Cutlon.

Hockey players are increasingly recognizing the importance of protective gear, with attitudes starting to change. Some players, like Colorado’s Ross Colton and Vegas defenseman Nicolas Hague, emphasize the importance of wearing protective cut-proof gear.

Protecting yourself from injury relates not only to the vicious sport of Hockey but to all sports alike. According to Stanford Medicine, about 30 million children and teens participate in some form of organized sports, and more than 3.5 million suffer injuries each year in the United States alone. It is prevalent that we recognize this statistic and proactively educate ourselves on the safety measures available to protect ourselves and our loved ones from harm. There are many proactive measures an athlete can take to protect themselves against suffering an injury at their own hand, such as stretching and staying hydrated. However, protecting yourself from an unexpected accident is another story. Wearing protective gear and advocating for organizations to put adequate safety rules and measures in place is a great start.

If you have been injured by a negligent party, please reach out for a free consultation today to find out what we can do for you. McCraw Law Group is dedicated to fighting for what our clients deserve after suffering wrongful injuries. From assisting with medical bills to mediating with insurance companies, our team is here for you. As a client of McCraw Law Group, a team member will personally walk you through the process so that you are aware of each and every step we take in fighting for the compensation that you deserve.

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