Response from James Mertz, DC, President of ACA to Jim Rome, Sports-radio Personality, as a Response to Rome's Comments about Chiropractic While On-air

Response from James Mertz, DC, President of ACA to Jim Rome,
Sports-radio Personality, as a Response to Rome's Comments
about Chiropractic While On-air

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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Thanks to the ACA for permission to reproduce this article on ChiroZine!

August 17, 2001

Jim Rome Show - c/o Premiere Radio Networks, Inc.
Jim Rome Show
15260 Ventura Blvd. 5th Floor
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

Dear Mr. Rome:

As president of the American Chiropractic Association, I would like to take you up on your challenge to name another health care profession besides chiropractic that offers free exams in malls, and to educate you about one of the safest and most effective forms of treatment available today, chiropractic care.

You may be interested to learn that many health care services are available for free in such venues as malls or grocery stores. Blood pressure tests, blood sugar tests, cholesterol screenings, colon cancer screenings, osteoporosis screenings, flu shots, and a host of other services can often be taken advantage of at the local mall or neighborhood grocery store. In fact, many doctors of optometry actually maintain practices inside shopping malls. Would you suggest that those with vision problems should not consult an optometrist? In addition, medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy often jointly host health fairs or health screenings in malls as well.

I would also point out that doctors of chiropractic must reach out to the public in ways that might seem untraditional to you, in part, because of the bias and discrimination they face each day from people such as you. By reaching out directly to the consumer, doctors of chiropractic can often counteract the misinformation that the public unfortunately may hear.

I am astonished that you, a sports personality, would be so out of touch with the importance of chiropractic care in the world of sports. I am also confident that many of your past athlete guests, because of their appreciation for and support of chiropractic care, cringed when hearing your ridiculous opinions about the profession.

While I do not have enough paper to list all the athletes and sports stars who thank chiropractic care for much of their success, I would like to share some of the more well-known names with you. Golf icon Tiger Woods, football legend Joe Montana and baseball stars Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire, all benefit from chiropractic care. Interestingly, Mark McGwire is listed as the current "Player of the Week" on your very own Web site!

Bonds, who is currently on pace to break McGwire's record for home runs in a single season, has said, "I think that it should be mandatory for athletes to see a chiropractor." Bonds even thanked his chiropractors during his press conference after hitting his 500th career home run earlier this year. Obviously Mr. Bonds does not share your misguided views.

Olympic speedskater Derek Parra, a two-time U.S. National All-around Champion, holder of three American records, and the reigning North American Champion, credits chiropractic with helping him recover from injury and perform at his best. He is now the most dominant all-around speedskater in the United States, and has set his sights on completing his medal collection next February at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games. Parra, who feels so strongly about chiropractic that he is a spokesperson for the American Chiropractic Association, has said, "I've used a lot of other treatments for injuries and pain, but the problem doesn't get fixed until I go to a chiropractor."

You must truly find it amazing that these athletes are able to "overcome" being treated by "people who ruin spines for a living," as you put it, to perform at such record-setting levels. You may also be surprised to learn that chiropractic is the single most sought-out form of care by our nation's top athletes at each Olympics.

The research supporting chiropractic is voluminous. For your information I am enclosing two informative brochures, one titled "What Research Shows About Chiropractic Care," and another titled "Doctors of Chiropractic: Part Of Your Health Care Team," which features Barry Bonds. Please take a moment to review them. I am also including an important book by David Chapman-Smith, titled "The Chiropractic Profession."

I have met your challenge, Mr. Rome, to name another health care profession that offers services in a mall. In fact, I've named several. Having met your challenge, I urge you to put a stop to the trash-talking and name-calling you have done toward the chiropractic profession.

In closing, I would like to invite you to interview Dr. Alan Sokoloff, official chiropractor for the world champion Baltimore Ravens, or Dr. Ralph Filson, Mark McGwire's personal chiropractor and the official chiropractor for the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Rams, on either your radio program or your television program. Both of these doctors have extensive background in speaking on radio and television. In fact, Dr. Sokoloff hosts a radio show of his own, called "Talking Back," in Maryland. You owe it to your audience, and to your athlete guests who utilize chiropractic care, to provide a fair and balanced portrayal of the chiropractic profession.

I await your response to my invitation. Please contact either Felicity Feather Clancy or Patrick Bernat at the American Chiropractic Association headquarters to schedule one of these guests. Felicity or Patrick can be reached via phone (800-986-4636), fax (703-243-2593) or e-mail ( or


James A. Mertz, DC, DACBR

cc: All affiliated program directors

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