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Sponsors keeping quiet about concussions Add to ...

Some of the NHL's most vocal critics on the concussion controversy are keeping quiet in the wake of the league's moves this week to confront the issue with a new set of initiatives. Air Canada and Via Rail, which last week sent letters to the league insisting it act immediately to curb the growing number of head injuries, both failed to return requests for comment on Tuesday. So did Reebok Canada, whose vice-president and general manager had suggested in a media report that new rules might need to be adopted to manage the game's faster speed in the post-lockout era.

Others were more cautiously supportive of the league's moves. "We're delighted that the NHL is taking this seriously, and they're trying to put some steps in place to reduce head injuries in the game," said John Vernile, the vice-president of marketing for Hyundai Canada, which is a sponsor of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts. He added, though, that he was in no position to properly appraise the NHL's actions this week.

Bell Canada took a similar line. "As a minority owner in the Montreal Canadiens, we let the experts take the lead in enhancing player safety," spokesperson Mark Langton said. "And the Habs have taken a leading role in working with the other NHL owners and the league to move the issue forward."

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