Santa Clara University’s Institute of Sports Law and Ethics (ISLE) will award its second-annual ETHOS Award for Ethics in Sports to two organizations that are using science and persuasion to battle the epidemic of crippling, sports-related brain trauma.
The 2014 ETHOS Award will be presented to the Sports Legacy Institute (SLI) and the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy (BU CSTE), two pioneering organizations raising awareness of concussions and providing advanced research and advocacy to effect major, positive changes in the field of sports medicine and injury prevention.
Three individuals who are the founders and forces behind SLI and BU CSTE will accept the award:
*Dr. Robert Cantu, world-renowned neurosurgeon and concussion expert; co-founder and medical director of SLI, co-founder and co-director of BU CSTE; clinical professor of neurology and neurosurgery at the Boston University School of Medicine; author of first return-to-play guidelines after a concussion, and author of the recent book Concussions and Our Kids.
*Dr. Ann McKee, co-founder and co-director of the BU CSTE and professor of neurology and pathology at BU School of Medicine and chief of the neuropathology service for the New England Veterans Administration Medical Centers. She has performed groundbreaking research on over 100 brains of deceased athletes who have suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
*Chris Nowinski, co-founder and executive director of SLI, co-founder and co-director of BU CSTE; a former Harvard University football player and WWE professional wrestler who was forced to retire from post-concussion syndrome; author of Head Games, which was turned into a documentary of the same name and helped bring the dangers of sports concussions to public attention.
“We are honored to receive this award that shares our lifetime focus of making sports more ethical and safe,” said Cantu, who spoke at ISLE’s 2013 Symposium.
The $5,000 award will be presented at a 7 p.m. dinner at Santa Clara University’s Adobe Lodge on May 6. Representatives of major Bay Area sports organizations are expected to attend the event, which is expected to sell out. The award will be presented by Brent Jones, retired tight end of the San Francisco 49ers, and John Tortora, the COO of the San Jose Sharks.
“These organizations’ founders have devoted their enormous personal talents to a cause greater than themselves,” said Kirk Hanson, executive director of Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and a board member of ISLE. “We honor them for fighting on many fronts to protect the long-term health and future quality of life of America’s athletes.”
The ETHOS prize is an annual award honoring a decision, action, initiative, or program that has contributed to the ethics of sport in the United States. “Ethics of sport” refers to the adherence to rules and practices or structures that promote fair opportunity for all competitors, a concern for safety of all participants, and a focus on the positive impact of sport on American life and on the moral formation of all participants.
“With these organizations leading the charge to improve how we understand the impact of athletic performance on the human body, competitive athletics in the future will provide much safer playing conditions for athletes at every level,” said Dan Coonan, SCU’s athletic director and a co-founder of ISLE.
“We look forward to celebrating with these excellent honorees and continuing to benefit from their expertise in concussion mitigation and research,” added Lisa Kloppenberg, dean of Santa Clara University School of Law.