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Link – Metta World Peace Claims He Was Offered Huge Money to Throw a College Game

This is a very real risk, especially in college sports where the players don’t have any money.

“In a controversial Supreme Court ruling this week, ​the nationwide ban on sports gambling was overturned and power was given to the states to regulate wagering as they see fit.

While sports junkies and bookies across the league celebrate, many are concerned about the damage this could do to the integrity of sports. Many scandals have resulted from players attempting to alter the outcome of games, and Metta World Peace is now speaking out about a certain situation he found himself in during his college days at St. John’s. ​”

Honestly, I don’t know how the NCAA is going to prevent this from happening.

https://www.12up.com/posts/6063252-metta-world-peace-claims-he-was-offered-huge-money-to-throw-a-college-game/partners/36273

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Link – #DamWorthIt Earns National Award

Good for them. Oregon State should be proud.

This year’s recipient of the Civic Leaders Award is Oregon State’s #DamWorthIt campaign, led by current men’s soccer student-athlete Nathan Braaten and former gymnast Taylor Ricci. #DamWorthIt is a campaign designed by Braaten and Ricci for student-athletes in order to decrease the stigma surrounding mental health through education and awareness.

http://osubeavers.com/news/2018/4/18/womens-gymnastics-damworthit-earns-national-award.aspx

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As Long As We Win – Aly Raisman on USA Gymnastics Culture

Last night, I had the opportunity to attend an event on the LSU campus featuring Olympic champion, and sexual abuse survivor, Aly Raisman. I hadn’t gone in to the evening expecting to write a blog post on my sports blog about it, but something she said made me take a long hard look at sports culture.

Not only that, but she also shared that people outside of the gymnastics world had asked her, and her teammates, why they were complaining, since they did win gold medals after all.

I think there’s something seriously wrong with sports fans if that’s our attitudes. I know I often roll my eyes at the fans who take to twitter to lambast professional athletes who dare complain about anything, after all they get paid millions of dollars to play a game, and we would all do anything to be in their shoes. Be that as it may, these are still human beings that we are talking about, and in the case of USA gymnasts, USA swimmers, UK and Argentine youth footballers, we are talking about children.

I do not think it’s appropriate to ignore sexual abuse, or mock mental health problems, or to dismiss real world problems because they are happening to people who happen to be the best athletes in the world. Yes, they’ve been lucky to have such physical talent, but it hardly makes it OK for them to be mistreated. The fact that the USA gymnastics team has been so successful does not mean that we can ignore the many, many people who harmed these girls by not taking accusations against Larry Nasser seriously. Aly had some very strong words for the administrators at Michigan State, the USOC and USA Gymnastics who did not investigate what was going on 20 years ago when the first rumors came out about Dr. Nasser. I can’t blame her. She’s 23 years old. If someone back then had done the right thing by these girls instead of ignoring it during the pursuit of Olympic glory, maybe she doesn’t have a sexual abuse survivor story to tell. I have no doubt, based on her brutal honesty about how much telling this story costs her, that she would love to not be in the spotlight over this. We should be amazed at her willingness to do it anyway, but we also shouldn’t forget that she shouldn’t have to. The adults in these organizations failed her, and every other gymnast who was abused in the ensuing years by Nasser.

And we failed them too, by thinking that anything that happens in the pursuit of a gold medal is “worth it” if they win in the end. That’s not a moral compass, that’s inviting athletes to be taken advantage of.

We need to be better than that as parents, as fans, and as human beings.

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Link – It’s Time for Action | by Ken Dryden

This is something very important for all of us as sports fans to consider, and it’s also personal for me.

“Most journalists I’ve spoken with since the book was released, and most of the people who have stopped me on the street or in airports — men and women — have kids. And like all parents, when it comes to their kids, they worry most about the unknowns. They fear that their hockey-playing kids will tear up their knees, lose their dream of playing in the NHL and live the rest of their lives with regret and a limp. But far more than that, they fear that their kids will tear up their brains, lose all of their dreams and live the rest of their lives as … not them. “

Now, there are two stories I want to share with you related to what Ken Dryden says about concussions in the NHL, and why he is of the opinion that any blow to the head should be a penalty, period.

First, I have had a concussion. A very mild one. It happened, believe it or not, playing hockey. I was playing defense in a roller hockey pickup game one Saturday morning, took a misstep when pivoting my skates and fell straight back, the back of my helmet hitting the concrete directly.

Now, mind you, that contact with my head was nothing, NOTHING, like what happens in an NHL game routinely, and the effects were mild, only lasting 48 hours or so. But that 48 hour period was a small window into what the world must look like for people who’ve had multiple concussions every day, and it was not pretty.

I sat alone in my house, in total silence and darkness. Light and noise hurt my head and made me very irritable. My eyesight was a bit blurry, I had no appetite.

Then, it went away and I was fine. One minor concussion, but no real damage. Again, NOTHING compared to what happens to professional hockey players over and over again.

The other story I want to share is about depression and mental health. We’ve seen story after story about former NFL and NHL players taking their own lives, or struggling with their mental health, after taking many hits to the head. I also happen to know a lot about that.

Not related to concussions, I have struggled with depression in the past, and I’ve even made an attempt to take my own life. I know, for sure, what living in that sort of hell is like. I can’t, in good conscious, watch someone go through that same thing, knowing that we could have done something as simple as protecting their head better to have avoided that.

I just can’t. No matter how much I love the games, I can’t sit by and know that there’s something about these games that is causing these people to have to suffer that kind of consequence without speaking out about it, and frankly, being in support of making changes.

Would no fighting and no hits to the head be different than the hockey I grew up with? Absolutely. But the hockey I grew up with might also be killing some of it’s players. It’s OK to make changes that help it not do that.

https://www.theplayerstribune.com/en-us/articles/ken-dryden-its-time-for-action