Controversy Surrounds Release of Trailer For “Concussion,” starring Will Smith, to Be Released in December, 2015
Sony Pictures has made a movie about the devastating long term effects of concussion in professional football players, and the NFL’s efforts to cover this up. Will Smith stars as Nigerian doctor Bennet Omalu, the pathologist who first discovered the prevalence in players of a degenerative disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). A trailer for the movie has just been released and can be seen here.
This movie promises to bring even greater public attention to the growing body of evidence, discussed in many past posts in this blog, demonstrating that concussion can in some cases trigger a chronic degenerative process with permanent consequences.
The New York Times reported on September 1 that emails distributed by the Sony hackers reflect Sony concerns about the NFL’s reaction to the movie and pressures to tone down the script to avoid antagonizing the NFL.
As reported in the Times, in 2013, NFL complained to ESPN executives about a documentary, “League of Denial,” that the network had produced with “Frontline,” detailing the league’s response to the dangers of head trauma. ESPN stopped working on the project with “Frontline,” which later broadcast it.
Many other scientists have built on Dr. Omalu’s work and the NFL has donated tens of millions of dollars to study concussions. The results of some of that research has been reported in this blog.