Dr. Bennet Omalu is lending his support to former NHL players suing the league in the ongoing concussion lawsuit.
Omalu, a neuropathologist who discovered and published findings on CTE in football players (which was later made into the film Concussion starring Will Smith), drafted a letter to the lawyers of former players in the lawsuit defending it from the NHL’s specialist who claims CTE doesn’t exist.
Rick Westhead of TSN.ca reports the NHL hired Dr. Rudy Castellani, a neuropathologist who denies CTE exists and disagrees with Omalu’s findings regarding the debilitating brain injury in connection to sports.
— Allan Walsh (@walsha) February 9, 2017
In a 16-page letter, Omalu wrote the league was denying “the truth and humanity of science to protect their revenue streams.” He threw water on Castellani’s opinion on CTE.
“Dr. Rudy Castellani’s opinion and request, on behalf of a sports league, the NHL, undermines the integrity, purity and independence of this long-established process and standards of practice, which have been polished and fine-tuned across the centuries by the colleges of scientists and physicians across the world who came before us,” Dr. Omalu wrote.
The NHL bringing in a CTE denier to fend off former players’ CTE claims is a bold move. Science has shown the devastating effects of brain injuries in relation to head contact in sports. I get that they want to win the lawsuit, but it’s an odd angle to take. As Omalu wrote in his letter, the league and Castellani are using debunked science and perspectives in order to prove their point.
Omalu is the most influential CTE specialist on the planet. His defense of former players and CTE’s connection to neuroscience does nothing but add credence to former players’ claims.