“Concussion”: A Cry for Justice

Did you see the movie “Concussion”? It’s the true story of the doctor, Bennet Omalu, who first discovered the existence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in NFL football players. CTE is caused by repeated blows to the head, especially those hits that cause concussions and other traumatic brain injury (TBI). The neurodegenerative disease, which usually shows up eight to ten years after experiencing repeated blows, can cause any number of problems, including premature death.

The movie is based on an article from 2009 in GQ, in which the NFL is depicted as undermining Dr. Omalu’s findings to protect profits. Similar issues were covered in the book “League of Denial” and the PBS Frontline documentary based on the book. The movie “Concussion” and the discussion surrounding it have blown the roof off of a long-simmering situation that NFL management, it appears, has not wanted to be revealed.

We Love Our Football . . .

NFL football is, by far, the most popular sport in the U.S. In 2014, a Harris Poll revealed that 35 percent of sports fans call pro football their favorite sport. Major league baseball is in second place, but far behind, at 14 percent, followed by college football at 11 percent.

It might be argued that professional players know that “necessary roughness” comes with the game, but when pro footballers screened the movie, some had panic attacks or cried while watching the film. A former 47-year-old NFL linebacker, Keith McCants, leaned on his cane while commenting, “I watch[ed] this movie and I know we were paid to hurt people. We were paid to give concussions. If we knew that we were killing people, I would have never put on the jersey.”

. . . But Is It Worth It?

By now, most fans know about the risks of playing football professionally. It could be argued that those playing for the NFL know the hazards, and should be allowed to choose football as their career. They are adults, after all.

However, concussions among children that result from playing football and other sports are another matter. Males playing football are at the top of the list when it comes to the number of sports-caused concussions. Guidelines released in 2013 by the AAN that address recognizing and dealing with sports-related concussions could potentially safeguard the brains of millions of athletes, from the pros right on down to Pop Warner players.

If your child plays football, make sure the coach knows about these guidelines that urge, when a child is injured, “If in doubt, sit it out.”

We believe justice matters.

Mike Stephenson is a Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated attorney, the highest possible attorney peer rating. When you call Mike, you can have complete confidence that you are talking with an Indianapolis traumatic brain injuries lawyer who has more than 30 years’ experience offering compassionate and successful representation for his clients.

What is your next step towards justice? If you or your loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury that you believe is due to negligence — whether it occurred on the playing field or on the highway — contact Mike today by using our online form, or call 1-317-825-5200. McNeely Stephenson. Let us put our resources to work for you.