A new Ralph Nader group called League of Fans – saying the sports world “must open eyes to compelling concussion research” – has called for mandatory neurocognitive testing for youth athletes. See http://leagueoffans.org/pdf/Manifesto5.pdf.
Nader is something of a designated national scold, and I’m not sure how warmly the “fan base,” as they say, will embrace his appropriation of it. But let’s say this: as a public-interest organization, the League of Fans is a big improvement over the “Sports Fans Coalition.” The latter seems most interested in hobnobbing with the biggest hot-air bags in Washington, such as Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut (who finds the burning issue of TV blackouts of home-team football games more urgent than meaningful steps for the health of young athletes).
(At the bottom of this post are links to my items that have been critical of the Sports Fans Coalition.)
As for this proposal by the League of Fans for something called the King-Devick Concussion Test, I am interested in what experts, such as Dustin Fink of the Concussion Blog, will have to say. I need to learn a lot more about King-Devick and how it might improve upon the seriously flawed ImPACT system of the National Football League and World Wrestling Entertainment’s corrupt Dr. Joseph Maroon. There is reason to be skeptical about the entire category of neuropsychological (NP) testing, but a national standard, starting with very young athletes, is perhaps less likely to be “gamed” and cheated than the top-down ImPACT.
Above all, it’s good to see Nader and company elevating the national concussion discussion.