NFL in hot water with films like "Concussion"

Patrick Brown, Staff Writer

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The NFL has received a lot of the blame for severe head injuries experienced by current and former players.

A documentary released back in 2013 on PBS entitled "Frontline: League of Denial" offered some more light on the situation. The documentary started off with the story of Mike Webster, a Hall of Fame player for the Pittsburg Steelers who died at the age of 50 due to brain damage.

Dr. Bennet Omalu, who treated Webster, was interviewed and said that his brain looked perfectly normal to the human eye, but when examined under the microscope he found symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). 

Although players are knowledgeable about the consequences of receiving multiple blows to the skull, most of them still want to play. Outsiders, however, blame the NFL for not doing enough to protect the players.

Kyle Roberts, intramural coordinator at North Greenville University, believes the players should be held responsible for any injuries.

My personal opinion about [head injuries] is that those individuals chose to partake in football, so ultimately it’s on the player and not the NFL or the NFLPA.”

Take Chris Borland for example. Borland played for the San Francisco 49ers his rookie year in the NFL, and had a breakout season in some peoples' opinion. It came as a shock when he retired the next year because he was worried about getting brain damage if he continued to play. He is now one of the major threats the NFL is facing.

In addition, an upcoming movie called "Concussion" starring Will Smith, portrays a doctor that finds a pattern of brain damage among NFL players. While he urges the NFL to help, they remain silent.

This movie has all of the implications to put the NFL to shame, but Roberts said that they could use it for an advantage.

“The movie [Concussion] will paint a negative picture on the NFL, but they can turn it to say that that was us in the past but this is us now,” he said.

The NFL has introduced many rules and regulations to help reduce the amount of concussions of players. The league is getting safer and much of its progress can be attributed to documentaries like "Frontlines" and movies like "Concussion."