The upcoming Will Smith film Concussion tackles the devastating health problems suffered by professional athletes after they’ve been subjected to repetitive head injuries, and in the latest trailer the movie doesn’t look like it’s pulling many punches. The film is based on the real-life story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, who examined the body of Steelers star Mike Webster and discovered that the player’s sad, final years were the result of a neural degenerative disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) — the result of years of playing football. (That’s Luke Wilson at a press conference in the trailer, playing what appears to be NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.)
There’s been a lot of discussion about how defensive
a stance the NFL would end up taking against
Concussion, but the conversation was muddled somewhat last year when leaked emails suggested Sony had neutered the film in order to avoid angering the league. The Hollywood Reporter ended up publishing a scene — reportedly cut from the film
— that seemed to indicate Goodell had been personally aware of the link between CTE and playing football. No matter the fate of the scene in question,
however, the trailer for Concussion doesn’t mince words, with a character stating that the NFL had known about the connection for years. Audiences will be able to see how strongly the film condemns the league when Concussion opens on December 25th.
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