Prior to the start of the 2015-16 NHL season, Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs was grilled for nearly seven hours by lawyers under deposition, according to reports obtained by Canadian broadcasting giant TSN.
The deposition records do not paint Jacobs in a good light, as he repeatedly denied having any knowledge of the impact of concussions, head trauma and the neurodegenerative disease known as CTE.
Asked point blank if he had ever heard of CTE, Jacobs answered flatly, “No.” Strange considering the NFL had already agreed to pay $765 million to settle a CTE lawsuit with its former players prior to Jacobs’ deposition. Now with the NHL facing a similar lawsuit form its own former players, Jacobs suddenly hasn’t heard of CTE or post-concussion disorder? Again… strange.
Jacobs was asked about his knowledge of CTE in the brains of former NHLers. “I don’t think so. I don’t know,” he answered. Once again taking the “act dumb” route.
“If we take these owners at their word, and they really don’t know what CTE is, it just makes the owners look like dilettantes,” said Jodi Balsam, a former NFL league lawyer who now teaches at Brooklyn Law School in New York. “These teams are businesses that earn and lose tens of millions of dollars and the idea that they wouldn’t keep themselves up to date on the science and medical developments that affect their most important assets is remarkable to me.”
In other words… ignorance is bliss.
Here’s the thing though, Bruins fans are used to Jacobs making a fool of himself and contradicting his own words and actions. It’s what he’s been doing ever since he took over the team in 1975. But in this lawsuit Jacobs not only represents the Bruins, but the entire NHL. In case you didn’t know, Jacobs is the chairman of the NHL’s Board of Governors and, as such, his words are in effect the words of the NHL itself. So… the NHL doesn’t know about CTE and concussions? Come on… that’s just nonsense.
It’s no wonder Jacobs is one of the most hated owners in all of sports. Earlier this offseason, Jacobs shot down rumors of NHL expansion or relocation into Quebec City, former home of the Quebec Nordiques, calling the Quebec city “challenged.” This after slamming his team’s own leading scorer, Brad Marchand, saying that he’s “used up his margin.”
Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs w/a definitive “cut it out” for Brad Marchand when asked about the licking incidents: “This is a player that, I can only think of 30 other teams that would love to have him, so there’s a margin that you give him. But, I think he used up that margin.”