Tags: concussion | movie | inaccuracies | misportrayals

'Concussion' Movie Panned for Inaccuracies, Misportrayals

Image: 'Concussion' Movie Panned for Inaccuracies, Misportrayals
(Columbia Pictures)

By    |   Monday, 28 Dec 2015 12:08 PM

The movie "Concussion," which depicts a doctor's fight with the NFL over football brain trauma, is receiving mounting criticism, particularly from the family of the late football player Dave Duerson.

The movie stars Will Smith as Dr. Bennett Omalu whose research into chronic traumatic encephalopathy was initially rebuffed by the football league, said The New York Times.

The movie has made $11 million at the box office since its Christmas release, according to Box Office Mojo,

The family of Duerson, a former player who served on the joint league-union disability board that determined whether players will receive benefits for debilitating injuries resulting from football, criticized the film for the way he was portrayed, said NBC Sports Pro Football Talk.

"What the movie doesn't appreciate was how difficult a position he was in," Tregg Duerson, son of the former NFL player, told the Times. "You have someone on a board with a fiduciary responsibility who can't just give out dollars for the sake of giving out dollars. I think his hands were tied."

Robert Smith, a former NFL player turned ESPN broadcaster, also took the movie to task with a Twitter post on Christmas.


Tregg Duerson said a portion of the film that showed his father blocking Omalu from a conference during a confrontation never happened, telling the Times that it was "completely made up stuff."

Duerson committed suicide in 2011 and was found to have suffered from CTE, the disease Omalu had diagnosed in some football players after their deaths.

In September, the Times said hacked Sony Entertainment emails revealed that studio executives, "Concussion" director Peter Landesman and representatives for Smith talked about how to avoid making the NFL upset by changing the script and in marketing the film.

Landesman told the Times the movie wasn't a documentary, but was "emotionally and spiritually accurate all the way through."

Daniel Engber of Slate.com said the film does the issue of brain trauma in football a disservice.

"I know that railing against the inaccuracies of a Hollywood film 'based on real events' is like yelling at the sky for being blue," said Engber. "But the exaggeration of the plot against Omalu in 'Concussion' feeds into a pervasive myth at the center of the national discussion over football and head injuries." 

"It turns an ugly episode in corporate denialism – the NFL's attempt to duck the dawning science of head trauma – into a lurid fantasy of persecution. In that way, the film echoes the media panic over football: We've been so eager to attack the league's pattern of deceit that we've fallen victim to our own error-ridden narrative."


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The movie "Concussion," which depicts a doctor's fight with the NFL over football brain trauma, is receiving mounting criticism, particularly from the family of the late football player Dave Duerson.
concussion, movie, inaccuracies, misportrayals
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2015-08-28
Monday, 28 Dec 2015 12:08 PM
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