Following Alan Shearer's BBC documentary on the long term risks of heading a football, one would be forgiven for thinking no sport is safe and, frankly, why should anyone participate in any sport apart if it is so bad for your long term health? Of course, nobody in healthcare wants to see that, so why with an obesity epidemic are we continually hearing stories of how some sports can damage our health?
The conclusion of the Anthony Joshua versus Carlos Takam brought the armchair referees of social media to a crescendo of criticism directed at referee Phil Edwards for having the temerity to end their viewing pleasure two rounds prematurely.
Here we go again! The touchy subject of young people playing rugby and the associated risks has once again reared its controversial head in the news. In the red corner are the raging rugby aficionados, angry about the demonisation of their long practiced sport. In the blue corner are section of the medical community who are either custodians of our young people's safety or out of touch liberals with no concept of the real world. Delete as you see appropriate.
Until last week, Toby Roland-Jones looked a pretty safe bet to be on the plane to Australia for that most celebrated of cricket competitions, the Ashes. Opportunities to participate in the oldest rivalry in cricket are rare and, for those chosen, a childhood dream is realised. For the Middlesex paceman however, that opportunity looks like it has been snatched away by the cruel ghost that haunts fast bowlers everywhere, stress fractures of the lower back.
An interesting footnote to the Jimmy Anderson's story is that my abiding memory of him (apart from some rather bizarre haircuts!) is not of him bowling but him crying! Having just been dismissed late in the day in a test to hand a victory to Sri Lanka, he fronted up at the presentation only to promptly burst into tears. It brought home to the viewing public how much playing for England meant to him.
It is challenging to pinpoint exactly when circumstances started to change but the advent of limited overs internationals in the 1970s and the T20 format in the 2000s inevitably changed the status quo.
Lord's and Bristol were both resplendent at the weekend. Lord's has a natural advantage of being the home of cricket but the four day finish and an easy England win has to give way to the nail-bitter that was Australia's ultimately unsuccessful run chase in the West Country.
My hope is that the welfare of rugby league players is not forgotten by the scientific community and that those involved in the training of those rugby league players are open enough to acknowledge literature published about rugby union and apply the evidence base to their own code. It will be to the players benefit if they do.
When Kipling wrote of triumph and disaster and treating those two just the same it would be fair to say he did not have a boxing match in mind. However, Saturday night's encounter demonstrates what a fine line exists between these two often quoted imposters within the theatre of sport.
No club has a divine right to be in any division but the evolution of the game over recent years and particularly the financial disparity may just have taken the Premier league out of reach for many clubs.
The day of reckoning is here! In front of a rumoured 90,000 crowd. Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko will go to war in the heavyweight division in one of the most eagerly awaited fights in years at that weight. The world will genuinely be watching this one, Even Americans who are notoriously luke warm over European fighters seem interested. As Joshua himself says, now Americans are coming to the UK to watch fights, not the other way around.
Tackling will not be outlawed as some fear but the emphasis needs to be placed on educating players as to how the more serious injuries are caused. International football, I fear, may be on more borrowed time as a serious spectacle. One hopes that a balance between club versus country can be maintained.
It seems unlikely that the period were Jewish boxers were the envy of the world will not be repeated. One hopes that the historical significance of those boxers is not forgotten and their legacy is celebrated as triumph against adversity.
Thankfully, my concern regarding Saturday night's boxing never materialised. The ringside crowd showed themselves able to appreciate boxing without allowing emotions to override their common sense. However, this blog is about the boxers and their safety rather than the actions of the crowd.
06/03/2017 13:14 GMT
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