Read Brian Knighton’s (AKA Axl Rotten) Letter To His Father and Step-Mom (click here). After Brian died his family decided and to donate his brain tissue for CTE research which revealed he had early stages of the disease. Before his death of a drug overdose, he was enrolled in WWE sponsored drug rehab. The previous post below about the potential evidence concealed within the WWE Rehab Program highlights importance of collecting and analyzing this WWE data so that researchers, medical experts and lawyers can work to solve the health crisis that has descended upon wrestling community.
The Boston Globe ran an interesting front-page story last week (August 9, 2018) about a Massachusetts Public Health Department Report linking overdose deaths to the conditions faced by construction workers. The article highlights that risk factors in drug abuse can be studied and conclusions reached about the likely causes. These risk factors are a major issue in the wrestling community and in the claims made by the wrestlers in the pending lawsuit against the WWE.
The article, “Opioid Deaths tied to workplace injuries: Need to Stay on job while hurt cited in Mass. Report” states: “The Report… paints a disturbing picture of workers hurt on the job, taking addictive painkillers, and needing those painkillers to keep working at jobs they would otherwise lose. “
“A lack of job security and sick pay- often the case in high-injury occupations- were also factors linked to higher rates of overdose deaths, the study found.”
In other words injured workers without adequate treatment and rest may self medicate in order to continue working.
As anyone who has worked with professional wrestlers knows this is a prime concern expressed in the community for years. Nearly every professional wrestler will tell anyone willing to listen that wrestling promotions including the WWE- had inadequate policies about taking time off for injuries, enforced unwritten rules about being tough and performing through pain. Many wrestlers would turn to drugs and alcohol to manage their pain, endure the road schedule and would help them wrestle even while hurt.
This exploitative and dangerous practice (of allowing wrestlers to perform injured) fostered through various means is one of the workplace structural issues addressed in the pending lawsuit against the WWE.
The Wrestlers Claims:
For example the wrestlers like Plaintiff Bryan Clark AKA Adam Bomb states:
“Because of the work schedule my body had no time to heal, also while on the road I needed to stay in shape, eat right, and train in the gym, which was difficult. I started getting injuries from the constant wear and tear on my body. The WWE schedule was called “the grind,” it was almost nonstop.”
Plaintiff Anthony Norris AKA Ahmad Johnson states:
“Most of the time I worked through being hurt or injured, but the fact that I had so many major injuries led to me being classified as “injury prone.” This designation he believed was meant to discourage him and other wrestlers from taking time to properly treat and recuperate from injuries.”
Plaintiff Bill Edie AKA Ax states:
“After an injury the referee or trainer might throw you a cold towel, you were expected to carry on with injuries, perform every day, you had to be ready to move on to the next city. The office did not give a damn if you were hurt unless it was going to impact the actual show.”
Statements like those above, that WWE ran an unsafe workplace and schedule are expressed in graphic personal experience by virtually every wrestler in the lawsuit. The frequency of the reports makes it hard to discount them or pretend that these are simply tall tales of disgruntled wrestlers (which is essentially WWE’s legal and factual position to the extent they bother to address these claims).
During Linda McMahon’s unsuccessful senate run in 2010 Lance Cade’s death became an issue, with his father telling the media the same story:
“His son had been injured on the job, requiring surgery on a shoulder last year and receiving a prescription for a knee injury in 2004. The younger McNaught [Cade] worked his way though pain as much as he could, his father said, because he and the other wrestlers were wary of taking time off to heal, believing that they would be quickly passed over in favor of other talent, and would have to begin the long, slow climb of their careers all over again.”
Interestingly, Chris Nowinski (before his Foundation received Millions in funding from WWE) sharply criticized the WWE over Lance Cade’s death saying: “They have an environment where it’s absolutely unsafe to work in that ring. They have no oversight into what actually happens in the ring, and “Luckily they have no media following them, so they’ve been able to get away with it. …” The WWE derided his qualifications and stated Nowinski’s comments that “WWE talent perform in matches 200 days a year in not factual.”
WWE Drug and Alcohol Rehab
In any event the WWE knows the truth about the likely causes of drug and alcohol abuse and has been non-publicly collecting the data about the high drug and alcohol abuse rates amongst pro wrestlers for over ten years through its internal alcohol and drug rehabilitation program.
The program evidences the extent that the WWE tracks former talent, it must maintain internal records on each wrestlers whereabouts (many move around quite a bit) and must constantly keep up with their changing addresses and even maintain contact with performers from the 1980s like Omar Mijares – indeed nearly all of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit say that the WWE mails them the offers each year.
The WWE’s own website stated it mailed 707 letters in 2014 and that roughly 10% of those that received the letter availed themselves of the offered programs. This alone is a sobering statistic and a rare public disclosure that standing alone invites serious scrutiny. Ten percent of WWE talent went to drug rehab?!? No one is looking at this? This level of detail appears to have been removed from the WWE’s website after the disclosure on the website came up in a very prominent way in the lawsuit. [if it is still online, please let us know]
The program was/is managed by WWE employees such as Ann Russo-Gordon and Robert Killar, who with an undisclosed amount of WWE resources, attempt to advise and help dozens of the wrestlers struggling with drug and alcohol (and likely CTE). Mr. Killar’s resume states that he has experience with the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, so presumably he would be able to advise WWE about the likely causes of the tidal wave of abuse in the ranks of WWE talent.
Based on the WWE wrestlers claims made in the lawsuit (and the frequency with which they contact their lawyers), the call volume to the WWE office from struggling wrestlers must be quite high. Plaintiff’s counsel have been stonewalled (to date) from obtaining this information in the lawsuit.
The Letters, often sent by Vince McMahon himself state:
“Over the last ten years, an inordinate number of wrestlers have passed away. Some of those deaths may in part have been caused by drugs and alcohol. In an effort to prevent such tragedies in the future, the WWE is willing to pay for drug and/or alcohol rehabilitation at a certified treatment chosen by WWE for any performer with a prior WWE booking contract who may need this service.”
When asked in 2007 at the Oversight and Government Reform hearings what prompted the letter? McMahon Answered:
“Two words: public relations. That’s it. I do not feel any sense of responsibility for anyone of whatever their age is who has passed along and has bad habits and overdoses for drugs. Sorry, I don’t feel any responsibility for that. Nonetheless, that’s why we’re [sending the letter]. It is a magnanimous gesture.”
The flippant statement by Mr. McMahon shows not only indifference, but a total lack of awareness that the WWE’s employment practices, workplace structure, OSHA violations, internal culture and legal violations would eventually give rise to the many hundreds of millions in dollars in potential legal liabilities that he and the WWE are now currently facing in the Federal Courts.
The pending lawsuit against the WWE seeks access to this information in possession of the WWE in order to help prove the wrestlers claims about what the WWE knows, and the scope of its legal duties arising from the health crisis it helped to create.
According to the Massachusetts study, funded by the US Centers for Disease control construction workers were “six times more likely to die from an opioid overdose than other workers. “
A Boston University Professor, Leslie I. Borden commented that his research has shown that “injured workers die more frequently from drugs and suicide.”
In other words, University professors, researchers, and important studies conducted in public health, medicine and the scientific community have revealed what every wrestler already knows: exploitative workplaces kill people. Causes and effects have dimensions that can be studied, evaluated, measured with the goal of actually solving a problem and not hiding it in non-public programs whose stated goal is to provide “public relations.”
As a concrete example, within the last week a young 38-year-old wrestler named Brian Danovich passed away. Brian was well known for being on WWE’s show, “Tough Enough” wherein he was injured, but continued to compete. He was supposedly given a WWE developmental deal but didn’t last long. What is curious, and little known is that in a recent podcast, Mr. Danovich (someone who is identified as him) states that he was in a WWE sponsored rehab program for his addiction to pain killers.
Several of the wrestlers involved in the WWE lawsuit also attended the WWE sponsored drug and alcohol programs including Brian Knighton aka Axl Rotten who has was diagnosed at early stages of CTE after his untimely death of a drug overdose in a McDonald’s bathroom.
In the case of plaintiff Mark Canterbury, the WWE has argued in court documents that it has required wrestlers to waive all of their rights under state and Federal law protecting workers such as himself (as asserted in the lawsuit) in order to obtain the WWE sponsored drug and alcohol treatment. The lawsuit takes issue with this stated WWE policy and business practice, arguing that certain legal rights cannot be waived.
As anyone who has knowledge of professional wrestling knows the death rate among the boys and girls from drugs, alcohol, and suicide is staggering. This health crisis from wrestling related injuries (of all kinds including CTE) that is likely responsible for the frequency of drug and alcohol abuse (and deaths), tragically and cynically has been concealed by the WWE through attempted “public relations.” The WWE needs to be held legally responsible for its actions in creating this crisis, the WWE collected data from its programs needs to be examined and the WWE needs to be called to account for its role in concealing the wrestling health crisis.
A frequent criticism of the claims made by the professional wrestlers suing WWE is that many “worked for other wrestling organizations, why are you blaming WWE?” or some variant of that analysis. The question is well put, but it misses the central theory of the claims and the fundamental idea of who is legally responsible for such injuries.
The theory of occupational head injuries is that corporations that make large sums of money promoting sports (for entertainment) or in the case of WWE what is fashioned “Sports Entertainment,” have duties to protect their athletes health and safety. For much of American history worker safety was not a top concern and over time it became apparent that corporations in many cases ignored worker health and safety so extensive laws and regulations were developed to protect people from being injured and exploited.
The theory of the WWE, NFL, NCAA and NHL cases is that if an athlete performs in dangerous conditions for their employer (or WWE which falsely calls wrestlers Independent Contractors- More elsewhere on this) and the athletes sustains injuries- the sports team, NCAA or WWE is responsible for helping care for the athletes and treating them for the injuries related to their work.
Kyros Law represents hundreds of former NFL players in the NFL settlement, including players diagnosed with CTE, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease and ALS. (this is partial list which was an 2015 Notice to the Court of some of the players)
The types of injuries alleged in these cases are unique and complex, because the injuries involve the brain. Occupational head injuries are also said to be latent (or hidden) and degenerative- meaning that they often develop over time. The full effects of these head injuries and diseases found in wrestlers (and NFL, NHL, NCAA athletes) are extensive and medical experts believe the injuries are caused by wrestling (and sports) activities.
Relating these ideas back to the question posed in the first paragraph, the theory is that if the wrestler:
1) Worked/Wrestled for WWE,
2) Sustained any Occupational Head Injuries from the activity i.e. concussions, sub-concussions, or accumulation of small impacts from any performances in WWE,
3) The WWE has a legal duty to each wrestler and a duty to help care for these injuries.
Under this theory is does not matter if a wrestler worked for other promotions (Ironically mostly defunct or bought by WWE), was hit in the head by a tree, struck by lightning or anything else. The WWE is said to be held responsible for the injuries sustained by the wrestler in WWE events.
The reason the “other promotion” argument seems at first to hold sway is that common sense tells us that the cause of something can be from many sources, but the law does not make that the standard for liability or responsibility for what WWE itself did.
The reason is simple; if a corporation that put its workers in harm’s way simply was able to say- “hey but that worker also worked in other dangerous places in equally dangerous conditions- why are you blaming us?”- There would be a lot of injured workers suffering from injuries with no health and safety rules in place.
As such the law imposes duties on each corporation or entity for their role.
Where the argument could have an impact is that the amount of damages each wrestler or athlete would be entitled to depending on how a Jury felt about the WWE’s several responsibility defense.
In the NFL case mentioned in the headline- the football player had one credited season for the Saints in the 1970s, he played in 9 games. He played four years in college and four years in high school. As he aged he began to experience serious neurological trouble, which medical experts related back to his football days. In August 2018 the NFL settlement determined he should receive $180,800 for damages he sustained in the nine games he played in.
What do you think a former WWE wrestler with head injuries should receive?
Kyros Law thinks the women and men we represent should get help from the WWE and that is why we helped them bring their case.
BOSTON, Aug. 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Kyros Law announces that the brain of former professional wrestler Frederick Seawright (better known as Brickhouse Brown) is being studied for CTE.
Mr. Seawright died on July 29, 2018 in Jackson Mississippi. Attorney Konstantine Kyros, an attorney for the family andBrickhouse Brown’s attorney before he died stated: “Mr. Seawright had pledged to donate his brain to help other wrestlers suffering from the effects of occupational head trauma. He expressed his hope that the wrestling community would ‘wake up’ to the CTE crisis.”
Mr. Seawright’s brain will be studied by experienced researchers investigating Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy CTE in professional wrestling.
Kyros Law currently represents other families of wrestlers diagnosed with CTE including Jon Rechner (Balls Mahoney),Brain Knighton (Axl Rotten), Timothy Smith (Rex King) Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and Harry Fujiwara (Mr. Fuji) in a lawsuit against the WWE arguing that the WWE should take care of wrestlers with CTE. Kyros Law also recently coordinated the CTE study of wrestler Chuck Williams (Rockin Rebel) in a tragic Murder-Suicide.
The lawsuit filed against the WWE by Kyros Law alleges that the WWE is deliberately concealing the CTE crisis in professional wrestling, in part, by not funding studies of deceased wrestlers for CTE because it wants to evade financial responsibility for helping warn and treat those at risk for the condition.
BOSTON, June 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Kyros Law announces that former ECW, WCW, WWF Wrestler Charles Donnelly Williams’ (also known as “Rockin’ Rebel”) brain has been donated for CTE research after tragic murder-suicide. On June 1, 2018 Former wrestler, Charles Williams was identified by Pennsylvania police as having shot his wife and killed himself in an apparent murder suicide.
Attorney Konstantine Kyros, an attorney for the family announced that Mr. William’s brain tissue is being studied for CTE. “Out of this immense tragedy, the family hopes to find some answers. They made the difficult decision to study Chuck’s brain for CTE in the hope that it may provide clues as to what happened. This is not the first time the family of a professional wrestler has been confronted by horrible events and there are obvious parallels to the Chris Benoit Tragedy.” The couple leaves behind two minor children, a son and daughter.
Chris Benoit, another professional wrestler, killed his wife and son in 2007 before hanging himself and was subsequently diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy that experts linked to his violent behavior.
Kyros Law currently represents other families of wrestlers identified as having CTE including Jon Rechner (Balls Mahoney), Brain Knighton (Axl Rotten), Timothy Smith (Rex King) Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and Harry Fujiwara (Mr. Fuji) in a lawsuit against the WWE arguing that the WWE has a duty to warn, treat and help former wrestlers that may be at risk for the condition.
The lawsuit filed against the WWE by Kyros Law alleges that CTE studies of other athletes are now the norm, but aside from the firm’s efforts, the large research institutions have done inadequate studies of the CTE health crisis in professional wrestlers in part because some receive funding from the WWE, which denies that the disease exists in its wrestlers much like the NFL originally denied the disease existed in Football players.
Learn more about the ongoing WWE Concussion Litigation by visiting Attorney Kyros’ WWE Concussion Lawsuit News blog.
Kyros Law specializes in a wide range of complex litigation, mass torts, and corporate governance matters, including the representation of whistleblowers, shareholders and consumers in securities fraud, false claims act and class actions. Our lawyers have been responsible for recovering hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients throughout the United States, Africa, Asia and Europe. Visit our website to learn more about our firm.
Things that make one wonder about why the CTE case against the WWE has not moved forward faster than it has. The facts alleged in the NCAA case are similar to the claims made in the pending CTE cases against the WWE. Does anyone believe that wrestling is less dangerous than playing in the NCAA? Or that the WWE knew less than other sports organizations about the long term risks of head truama? Should a jury get to decide the WWE cases? The reader will also note the the NCAA has already agreed to help its former athletes with a $70 million dollar fund. The WWE has offered ZERO dollars to alleviate the CTE health crisis in pro wrestlers.
(June 15, 2018) — The NCAA settled a case involving the widow of a former University of Texas defensive lineman.
The alleged the NCAA could and should have prevented her late husband’s chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
The two sides reached a settlement Friday, days into the first-ever trial about the NCAA’s responsibility for a football player’s CTE.
The Plaintiff Debra Hardin-Ploetz and the NCAA reached their agreement in the third day of the trial in Dallas before District Judge Ken Molberg The judge did not disclose any of the terms of the settlement.
The trial began with opening statements with plaintiffs lawyers telling the jury that when Mr. Ploetz began playing football at UT, he knew he was risking broken limbs, but was given no warning from the NCAA that he might suffer long-term neurological damage even though the organization had purportedly known for decades about the dangers of head trauma.
It was the first time a jury has been asked to consider what the NCAA purportedly knew about the head trauma associated with football and what it knew about CTE, the disease that allegedly gave Mr. Ploetz “10 years of suffering and decline” before his death in 2015.
The defense attorney representing the NCAA, told the jury during his opening statement that the plaintiff was engaging in “Monday morning quarterbacking” and trying to say the NCAA should have known in the 1960s that football caused CTE — a contention that is still not accepted in the medical literature and which was only first suggested in a 2005 case study, he said.
The NCAA in 2014 has already agreed to provide a $70 million medical monitoring fund and set aside $5 million for concussion research to settle multidistrict litigation brought by former student-athletes who accused the organization of failing to address concussions arising from football, basketball and other high-contact sports.
And in 2015, the NFL got final approval for an uncapped settlement with roughly 5,000 former players who alleged the league knew about the long-term risks of head injuries and concealed them. Under that deal, players diagnosed with CTE can receive up to $4 million.
The case is Debra M. Hardin-Ploetz, individually and on behalf of the Estate of Gregory Ploetz, v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, docket number DC-17-00676.
The WWE cases continues…
On March 28, 2018 Judge Bryant’s ruled: “After careful consideration of the evidence in the light most favorable to the Plaintiffs, the Court has determined that the evidence does not support a finding that WWE knew of a risk that repeated head injuries incurred while performing as a professional wrestler could cause permanent degenerative neurological conditions prior to September 5, 2007.”
The court also stated: “LoGrasso’s claim cannot survive summary judgment because undisputed evidence in the record demonstrates that WWE did not know of a potential link between concussions and permanent degenerative disorders until after LoGrasso stopped wrestling.”
This is obviously not the ruling the injured wrestlers hoped for, especially those struggling with long-term head injuries and CTE. The plaintiffs obviously believe that the facts support the opposite conclusion- that the WWE in fact knew about the risks of head injuries at all relevant times and has a duty to help the wrestlers with neurological injuries. As of today however the Court has ruled for WWE (in the LoGrasso/Singleton case). This has been a very hard fought lawsuit with a great team of lawyers fighting for Evan and Vito, our thoughts are with them and all those wrestlers who are struggling with long-term head injuries.
One important function of the pending legal claims against the WWE is to prove that CTE exists in WWE wrestlers in order to get them medical care. An important element of the claims is that former wrestlers may be at risk for CTE. The lawsuits are asking in part, for the WWE to acknowledge this science. The WWE has so far tried to avoid admitting that wrestlers may be at risk for CTE and the pending lawsuits have in a sense forced the WWE to take a position on the science behind CTE. The fullest statement on the WWE stance on CTE can be gleaned by looking at the papers that their lawyers have filed in the lawsuits.
In seeking to dismiss the claims made by Vito LoGrasso and Evan Singleton (their cases were filed before the 60 wrestlers in the Laurinaitis case), the WWE was forced to make its views known.
The fullest WWE position on CTE can be read here: “The State of CTE Science is Not a Known Fact”
In this filing with the Court the WWE quotes (underlines and bolds the text) from a controversial 24th International Conference on Concussion in Sport in Zurich in 2012 which stated among other things that:
“It was… agreed that a cause and effect relationship has not been demonstrated between CTE and Concussions or exposure to contact sports.”
“It was further agreed that CTE was not related to concussions alone or simply exposure to contact sports.”
“As such the speculation that repeated concussion or subconcussive impacts cause CTE remains unproven.”
So in order for the WWE to defend the claims made by the wrestlers it relies on studies that the majority of the medical community rejects.
The plaintiffs experts and lawyers themselves do not even have to make this argument. The argument has been made for them by the WWE financed doctors: Ann McKee and Robert Cantu at Boston University!
Dr. Ann McKee wrote on March 17 2013 about this very article cited by the WWE in the lawsuits “This is a time that calls for immediate action to reduce the amount of head trauma experienced by athletes in all sports to prevent CTE,” McKee said via email. “And it is now irresponsible to justify inaction by requesting a level of scientific proof that will take decades to acquire.”
Dr. Robert Cantu had a similar reaction to the WWE cited statements telling the press: “When I saw in the consensus statement that we need more data in terms of CTE, I wrote to the other authors, in essence, ‘What the hell do you mean that we need more data?'” Dr. Robert Cantu said in a phone conversation Thursday. “…Frankly, it stunned me.”
Additionally the CTE studies financed in part by the WWE by the BU researchers reach the exact opposite conclusions of this Zurich Conference. Including a recent WWE-funded study that was said to be “the best evidence to date … that CTE is caused not just by concussions, but rather by any blow to the head, including mild impacts.”See earlier posts.
The WWE position on CTE science in the lawsuits is not only out-of-date and incoherent, the WWE position also directly contradicts the very studies and experts it funds at Boston University. The WWE’s tragic hypocrisy means that former WWE wrestlers will continue to suffer from CTE without any help or treatment until the Court forces them to act.
A pioneering CTE study published January 18, 2018 demonstrates that CTE is caused by repeated hits to the head not simply concussions. The lead doctor of the Boston University team that conducted the study described the paper as “the best evidence to date … that CTE is caused not just by concussions, but rather by any blow to the head, including mild impacts.”
As such the argument strongly supports a central claim made in the pending concussion lawsuits against the WWE. According to the wrestlers lawsuit: “The wrestling moves that involve the occupational head trauma that causes CTE and associated diseases from the accumulated effects of TBIs are the result of wrestling moves… that were performed “correctly” by the Plaintiffs. In other words, the head trauma that has resulted in injury is the accumulated effect of many impacts to the plaintiffs’ heads that occurred on a regular, routine basis during their WWE career.” The WWE has strenuously denied this claim.
Incredibly, the WWE actually helped fund this very study in 2018 that supports the injured wrestlers claims, and yet maintains in Court documents and media statements it is ignorant of any risk of CTE among professional wrestlers and openly derides the claims of the wrestlers, five of whom have died and been diagnosed with CTE including well-known wrestlers Jimmy Snuka and Mr. Fuji.
The WWE maintains in the Singleton/LoGrasso case: Quote: “The State of CTE Science is Not a Known Fact,” and WWE Doctors claim in court papers WWE is ignorant of CTE.
The WWE Lead Lawyer explained to the worldwide media: ”Before this guy [Konstantine Kyros] started trolling around looking for people to sue, we didn’t have one person, none, claiming they had any kind of traumatic brain injuries, or dementia or ALS or any of the kind of stuff you seek associated with the NFL.”
Since then the lawsuit has been amended (November 2017), there are five wrestlers diagnosed with CTE in the case itself (and two others Chris Benoit and Andrew “Test” Martin diagnosed by Dr Omalu) as well plaintiffs (including Paul Orndorff) with diseases including dementia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
The conflict between these positions is even more striking because the BU affiliated Concussion Legacy Foundation gave a seat to one of the “CTE in wrestling deniers”: wrestler Paul Levesque AKA Triple H, an executive VP at WWE (husband of Stephanie McMahon). Mr. Levesque has publicly donwplayed the risks in WWE wrestling, telling USA today :” pro wrestling is fundamentally different from football when it comes to hard impacts… If you’re in the NFL, your goal is to try to hit the other guy as hard as possible. … The goal in what we do is the exact opposite,” said Levesque.
This is a real-time repeat of the NFL League of Denial story. However the striking contrast is that the WWE has seemingly bought the silence of Mr. Nowinski who heads the Concussion Legacy Foundation (see the unbelievable Boston Globe expose of his role), and BU researchers through its large cash donations and Triple H’s board seat on the CLF. The WWE appears to maintain its denial of CTE science in order to avoid paying money to help its injured wrestlers.
The scientific article published in a medical journal called “Brain” received heavy media coverage. The worldwide headlines announced:
CNN: “It’s not concussions that cause CTE. It’s repeated hits, a study finds”
Los Angles Times: “Forget concussions. The real risk of CTE comes from repeated hits to the head, study shows.”
CBS Sports: “Study: CTE caused by repeated hits to head, even those that don’t cause concussions.”
Daily Mail UK:
‘Concussion is a red herring’ for CTE: Major study shows repeated hits (even mild ones) are the REAL problem
• Boston University has found the biggest problem for CTE is the way the head is hit, not the concussion
• Concussion is to CTE what a cough is to lung cancer: it does not predict it and treating it does not prevent it
• The paper is the clearest evidence to date of a causal link between football tackles and CTE – and suggests there is no way to prevent it
These headlines should also point out that the WWE, unlike the NFL is continuing to deny the science and continues to deny any help, money or research to address the CTE health crisis it is directly responsible for among professional wrestlers. The WWE evades these duties despite funding the study that proves its athletes are in health crisis and there can be no doubt of WWE’s actual knowledge of nature of CTE. The WWE’s legal and moral position in the face of evidence it now has at its disposal puts the organization into its own category of corporate misconduct.