IRVIN MUCHNICK is a foremost reporter and writer on the concussion crisis in sports. He is author, most recently, of CHRIS & NANCY: The True Story of the Benoit Murder-Suicide and Pro Wrestling’s Cocktail of Death. Irv is a widely published journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Sports Illustrated, People, and many other major magazines and newspapers. He has been interviewed on forums as diverse as Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor and National Public Radio’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross.
In 2007, Irv published WRESTLING BABYLON: Piledriving Tales of Drugs, Sex, Death, and Scandal – a collection of his writings on pro wrestling behind the scenes. Soon thereafter, the sensational double murder/suicide of World Wrestling Entertainment’s Chris Benoit brought WRESTLING BABYLON to the attention of Congressional investigators and led to the true-crime book CHRIS & NANCY, published in 2009. Irv’s books and blog writings moved to the center of scrutiny of WWE co-founder and former chief executive Linda McMahon’s unsuccessful 2010 U.S. Senate candidacy in Connecticut on the Republican ticket.
Over the last year, Irv’s work has helped elevate the story of widespread traumatic brain injury and its consequences for National Football League players and other professional and amateur athletes. His reporting has identified Dr. Joseph Maroon – medical director of WWE, team neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and a widely quoted NFL consultant – as being among the key figures in manipulating research that was slow to identify and take seriously evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. In the process, the $9-billion-a-year pro football industry was protected and NFL-affiliated doctors profited. The newest developments, including the suicide of retired player and NFL Players Association leader Dave Duerson, and the bargaining impasse between the NFL and the NFLPA, have increased public interest not just in the science of head injuries but also in how it is marketed by America’s most popular sport, from the NFL level all the way down to the peewee leagues.
Irvin Muchnick, who was assistant director of the National Writers Union from 1994 to 1997 and later a copyright litigation consultant, also is lead respondent of the landmark 2010 Supreme Court case Reed Elsevier v. Muchnick — which Publishers Weekly calls “the central rights dispute of the digitial age.” He blogs about writers’ rights issues at http://freelancerights.blogspot.com.
Irv can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.