I was going to call the title of this blog post: How professional football got away with murder. This is how emotional and powerful this story is.
Based on real life events, Concussion is the story of how Dr. Bennet Omalu (played by Will Smith) discovers a neurological deterioration that is similar to Alzheimer’s disease while conducting an autopsy on former NFL football player Mike Webster (played by David Morse). Dr. Omalu names the disorder chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and co-publishes his findings in a medical journal. As other football players face the same diagnosis, the doctor begins a mission to raise public awareness about the dangers of football-related head trauma.
As the movie states, football players know that football is dangerous. They know they can break their leg playing the game. They may even get a concussion. However, the movie suggests that the NFL hid from the players the one thing they didn’t know could happen to them: That the repeated head trauma would lead to former football players literally losing control of their minds and body.
There are better writers than I who have written about this issue. Here’s one such article from USA Today that is well worth the read. It’s titled, “The chilling first script of ‘Concussion’ is everything the NFL doesn’t want you to see.”
Read the book, see the movie. It will change the way you watch NFL football.