Cruel news about Rob Burrow’s MND should provoke rugby into action | Jonathan Liew

The two codes need to show greater leadership and ask why so many of its number are suffering from brain injuriesYou may not have heard of the former professional baseball player Pete Frates but you may just be familiar with his work. Five years ago a Facebook video in which Frates upended a bucket of ice-cold water over his head in order to raise money for motor neurone disease – or ALS, as it is known in the United States – swiftly went viral. Within weeks something that became known as the Ice Bucket Challenge was on the way to becoming a global sensation, raising almost £100m in that initial summer alone.A couple of weeks ago Frates died peacefully at the age of 34. He was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2012 and though he had spent the past seven years tirelessly raising awareness of his condition, his passing was an ice-cold reminder this is a contest with only one outcome. There is no known cure for MND, and what makes last week’s news about Rob Burrow so heartbreaking is that for all the defiance and dignity with which he has been discussing his diagnosis, he, too, is now on the same horrific and inexorable journey. Continue reading…