by Irvin Muchnick
Concussion Inc. has been proud to champion the cause of the mother of Braeden Bradforth, the 19-year-old football player who died outrageously — perhaps criminally — of exertional heat stroke following the first day of practice last August under then Garden City Community College (Kansas) head coach Jeff Sims.
Three weeks ago the mother, Joanne Atkins-Ingram, and her lawyer and friend, Jill Greene, flew from New Jersey to Kansas to pursue the many questions the college has been stonewalling. Atkins-Ingram had an emotional encounter with a teammate of Braeden’s when they ventured to the spot on campus where he had collapsed and died, and enough sources spoke directly to the women to give them the start of some painful answers. All this while the institution has completed a not-independent internal review of the episode that was ordered by interim president Ryan Ruda, and refused to share the findings.
Yesterday we passed along the excellent new report by Sam Zeff of Kansas public radio. Here again is the link to “Monday in Jersey, Tuesday in Garden City, Wednesday Dead After A Football Practice In Kansas”: https://www.kcur.org/post/monday-jersey-tuesday-garden-city-wednesday-dead-after-football-practice-kansas#stream/0.
Today brings much more.
The family’s hometown newspaper in New Jersey, the Asbury Park Press — part of the Gannett / USA Today chain — has another fine report, this one by Stephen Edelson. With admirable enterprise, the Press filed a Kansas public records request, which the community college rebuffed, but the Garden City functionaries can hold off the truth for only so long. Highly recommended read: “‘My whole community lost my son’: Mother wants answers for NJ football player death,” https://www.app.com/story/sports/2019/02/20/braeden-bradforth-neptune-nj-football-player-death-garden-city/2836273002/.
Finally, in what may be the most significant media development of all, political columnist Dave Helling of the Kansas City Star writes under the headline, “This Kansas football player died from heatstroke. Why doesn’t his family have answers?” Echoing New Jersey state senator Vic Gopal, Helling says Derek Schmidt, the attorney general of Kansas, should investigate. See https://www.kansascity.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/dave-helling/article226510910.html.
Below are complete chronological links to our own coverage, which began days after the Bradforth death when we expressed extreme skepticism about the initial account of Coach Sims.
Published November 14th