Tag Archive for NFL Concussion

A New Film Starring Will Smith Takes On NFL Concussion Issue

football helmetIf the latest film the actor Will Smith is starring in becomes a hit, it will continue to keep the NFL Concussion issue in the headlines for a long time. The film titled “Concussion” will focus around the doctor who first discovered the effects some football players experienced as a result of playing football. The film follows the doctor played by Will Smith and his journey in exposing the problem and the push back he received when he sought to expose it. In reality, the doctor (Dr. Bennet Omalu), who discovered and exposed Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (C.T.E.) dealt with many issues including being criticized and discredited for what his work showed. Omalu’s story has been covered by numerous outlets like the New York Times, PBS’s Frontline, ESPN’s Outside The Lines, and HBO’s Real Sports With Brian Gumbel.

Initially, the NFL settled with plaintiffs from the lawsuit for $765 million with additional compensation for medical benefits and concussion testing, but the judge wasn’t satisfied and the cap of $765 million was dropped with the other parts of the settlement still in place. Arguably, that settlement wouldn’t have occurred had it not been for the findings of Dr. Omalu. Omalu is currently a Volunteer Associate Clinical Professor for the University of California, Davis, the Chief Medical Examiner of San Joaquin County in California, and the President of Bennet Omalu Pathology. In certain respects, Omalu can be considered a whistleblower because of his findings and his willingness to reveal them to the general public. The NFL is arguably the most popular and profitable sport in the United States. His findings threatened the entire league and its future and his fight to expose the truth is covered in the movie “Concussion”. In addition to threatening the league, Omalu’s findings sparked an ongoing discussion among fans and parents of children who play in little league, high school, and college. If those parents decided to prevent or stop their child from playing football that would be detrimental to the league.

The settlement was eventually approved by the Judge with a majority of plaintiffs being satisfied with the deal. Even though there are a some objectors and lawsuits aside from this settlement proceeding against the NFL, most agree that the settlement is good for the plaintiffs. A trial would have been long and drawn out and would bring some uncertainties. The film “Concussion” is expected to be released in December 2015.

As Football Reigns, Take A Minute To Remember The Impact Of Concussions On Current And Former Players

football helmet
As new seasons for both the National Football League (NFL) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) commence, this season is a bit different than past seasons since they start in the shadow of huge concussion related settlements. The excitement for football can be encompassing. But it should not be forgotten that the issue of concussions still looms over the sport and both organizations.

While the settlements both deal with the issue of concussions, they differ in detail. The NCAA settlement was for $70 million, and most of that money is designated for research on concussions. The NFL settled for $765 million, but that cap has since been lifted. Most of the money from that settlement will compensate the plaintiffs, who were former players, and will also go towards baseline testing, medical research, and education.

So as football takes over the nation, the plaintiffs and their advocates who pushed the issue of concussions to the forefront by litigating it in the court of law and the court of public opinion should be remembered and applauded for their bravery in the face of very strong opposition.




Photo Credit: Andrew Morrell Photography via Compfight cc


Written by Lulaine Compere