Concussion, the Movie Gaining Attention with Past and Present Athletes
The incredible portrayal of Dr. Bennet Omalu by Will Smith has finally shed light on the seriousness of concussion injury. As many of you know, I have long professed the dangers of repeated head trauma. For decades, the long term ramifications of repetitive head injuries were known but kept in the dark; Football means money to a lot of people, and negative press would surely impact the overall perception of football.
Dr. Bennet Omalu is the physician credited with first diagnosing the brain injury, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, known as CTE. CTE is commonly diagnosed in football players and athletes playing other contact sports. CTE is directly correlated with repeated blows to the head.
ESPN reported that over 90% of NFL players who died during the last 10 years were found to have CTE
With these terrifying numbers, it is a true anomaly that more players and their families are not aware of the seriousness of CTE – and furthermore, that the topic is still secretive in the NFL. Hundreds of NFL players (past and present) that have seen the movie and many are left asking themselves a tough question; will they allow their children to play football? As much as many of our nation’s top athletes are blessed with amazing skill and talent, the resounding answer when poised with that question, is no.
The Truth Coming to Light
With Sony offering free admission to past and present NFL players and their families, many are lining up at the box office to see Dr. Bennet Omalu on the big screen. In addition to the harsh realities of CTE being exposed in the film, many are coming to the realization that their beloved industry has shrouded and cloaked this terrifying information for decades.
The realization that players will likely show signs of CTE in their lifetime, past and present NFL pros are faced with other harsh truths. Knowing individuals that have succumbed to the terrible disease, and grappling with the reality that trusted medical professionals played a role in the cover-up can be overwhelming . In a recent Sports Illustrated article, the Jet’s D’Brickashaw Ferguson expressed sadness and frustration when he learned that a beloved on-field doctor was an intricate part of the initial onslaught to discredit Dr. Omalu.
Make Them Pay
For many, the scary reality of a closed head injury is becoming increasingly more difficult to hide from. In over 30 years of practicing law, the quantity of closed-head injury cases has led to a sub-specialty for me – Fighting for justice and compensation for victims that suffer a head injury in a multitude of scenarios.