Cruel news about Rob Burrow’s MND should provoke rugby into action

Cruel news about Rob Burrow’s MND should provoke rugby into action

Doddie Weir, who received an award at the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year, was diagnosed with MND in 2016. Burrow, for his part, doesn’t think rugby played a neighborhood in his condition. Nor does Weir, who spoke so movingly eventually week’s Sports Personality of the Year ceremony. this could probably not surprise us: it’s terrible enough to suffer from terminal illness, worse still to confront the likelihood that your own choices may have contributed. The short answer is that we don’t know whether there’s a longtime link between sport and degenerative brain diseases like MND. What we do know certainly doesn’t rule it out.

In February, an analysis within the Global Spine Journal found that professional athletes who were susceptible to repetitive head or neck trauma – like soccer or American football – were eight times more likely to develop MND than the overall population. A study commissioned by the FA found professional footballers born before 1976 were around fourfold more vulnerable to MND. None of this proves anything on its own: what’s required is more research, more data, more dedicated studies. The burning question is who goes to commission and fund them and what questions they’re getting to ask. agen sbobet 888 online

Recent history suggests that leaving the matter within the hands of the sports themselves isn’t the simplest idea. Football, famously, spent decades burying its head within the sand over its links to dementia. The NFL, too, spent years actively thwarting attempts to determine a link between its sport and concussion. Not until the load of public pressure reached calamitously tragic proportions did it finally admit the character of the matter.

Faced with a growing trail of devastation, will the 2 rugby codes show any greater leadership? World Rugby’s response to the February study was to worry its conclusions were “not qualitative or rugby specific” and involved further research without ever specifying who would carry it out.

Meanwhile on Monday, Simon Johnson, the chairman of the rugby League, explicitly ruled out a link between rugby and MND. “Unfortunately MND appears to be a cruel, random disease which will strike at anybody,” he told League Express, with a degree of certainty that so far appears to possess eluded life science.

Can safety be improved? Can high-impact sports offer genuine protection against head trauma? Can parents and players be better informed of any risks involved? Or will we shirk the difficult questions in favour of easy platitudes, dissemble and prevaricate, pretend that cases like Burrow’s and Weir’s are not any quite feelgood tales of human inspiration?

Rugby league may be a wonderful sport filled with wonderful people which generosity of spirit has been much conspicuous over the past few days. But also as asking what it can do for Burrow now, it should ask what it offers subsequent Rob Burrow beyond thoughts and prayers.