Target: NHL commissioner, Gary Bettman
Goal: Protect athletes from eye injuries by requiring the use of helmet visors in the National Hockey League.
When New York Rangers defensemen Marc Staal was hit below the eye with a hockey puck, there were some who believed he would not have use of his left eye. Fortunately for Marc, those doctors were wrong. His injury, however, is not uncommon. There have been a multitude of players in the last decade who have dealt with brutal eye injuries or paralyzing headaches because of a concussion sustained when they were hit in the head by a puck. Most of these injuries could have been prevented had the players been wearing a visor over their eyes and nose. The National Hockey League (NHL) must implement a rule requiring the use of visors.
The National Hockey League Players Association has taken a firm stance when it comes to visors and insist that it’s the player’s right to choose whether he plays with a visor or not. The use of visors continues to increase thanks to a rule from the minor league hockey association, The American Hockey League, requiring the use of visors. Since the AHL is the league that sends the most players to the NHL, this has led to an increase in visor use—but it is not enough.
While players argue that the adjustment period to new equipment will interfere with their careers, they should understand that losing an eye would permanently end their playing days. The NHL must stand up for the health of their players as they have with rules protecting the heads of players to limit concussions. It is the NHL’s responsibility to make the sport safer. Sign this petition and ask the NHL to implement a rule requiring the use of visors by their players.
Dear Commissioner Gary Bettman,
The use of visors is up to nearly 70% in the NHL, but it is still not enough. The risk to players is too great, as we have seen in cases like Marc Staal of the New York Rangers. While he was lucky to keep his eyesight, others in the future might not be so lucky. I understand that the players are resisting this move but it must be made in order to protect them and the game.
I am asking that you step in as you have done with the concussion problem and change things for the better. The physical play that makes hockey such a fantastic game will not suffer from the implementation of visors, so what is holding the rule back? Please protect the players and the integrity of the game by implementing a rule requiring visors in the NHL.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: ArtBrom via Wikimedia Commons