This article is dedicated to Kassandra Perkins.  It is part one of a series of articles that will include my thoughts about the movie Concussion, starring Will Smith. – Michelle Sports X 

Besides there being no 2 by 4 in the movie scene where Will Smith’s character, Dr. Bennet Omalu takes a club of sorts to the wall in the house he opts not to move into in an effort to ward off frustration, what else is wrong with the movie Concussion? Well, that all depends upon what you are looking to find from the movie about a Nigerian-born forensic pathologist, who was instrumental in detecting dangers in the game of American football. By that I mean, are you looking to be entertained or are you looking for a true story backed up by truth?

This is not a professional review of the movie by a professional movie critic for the plain and simple reason that I am not a professional movie critic. So if that’s what you were expecting to find in this article, you might be disappointed. However, if you are looking for an honest opinion from someone who is not owned by any sponsor who has been following the concussion matter since well before it came into the public’s mindset, then please read on.

First, let me begin by saying, I absolutely love Will Smith, as an actor. I always have. I grew up watching him in the television show, The Fresh Prince of Bell Air, and when I became a parent, I watched that same show over and over again with my son. I also loved him in the movie, Seven Pounds, and Hancock. No doubt there are other movies I’ve not listed among my favorites that are among other people’s favorites that he has starred or appeared in. Men in Black, comes to mind.

The reason I begin this series of articles by sharing that I am a fan of Will Smith, the actor, is because it is always important to point out potential bias. Well, at least it’s important to do so when it comes to any scientific study. That’s one of the things I re-learned when I first began my course work at Boston University.

So, that being said, I knew I was going to like the movie or at least I had an inkling I would like it, before I ever started watching it. I love Will Smith, the actor and I’ve never seen anything he’s starred in which I failed to enjoy, so did I watch this movie through rose-colored glasses, in the same way that many Americans watch the game of football? I do not believe so.

The movie, Concussion, begins by showing that it is “based on a true-story” and if you happened to see the movie, True Story, you know that sometimes even a true story can have it’s fiction. However, being “based on a true-story” gives it a bit of a pass when it comes to anyone claiming it’s not factual. Chances are that many who see the movie will forget that it might not be entirely factual and they might believe that what they see portrayed in the movie actually happened. Not that there’s anything wrong with that because chances are it did, only just like it’s important to review more than one scientific study when searching for answers about an issue, if you want to understand concussions and American football, you might want to look to more than one source, and not base your findings on just one movie that happens to be based on a true-story.

One of the things that I found problematic about this movie has nothing to do with the movie but more to do with the way the media deals with this matter. The movie does the same thing and that is it fails to bring in other variables, which could be very key in understanding why many former athletes who played in the National Football League chose to end their lives by their own hand.

One of the things I loved about the movie is that it seemed to do a good job of capturing the totality of circumstances about how the NFL is a powerful entity that may control more than we might wish to be willing to admit, sort of like Hollywood.  You might want to take the ‘under’ on whether or not I will ever hear back from Roger Goodell in response to the letter I wrote him a few years ago about how the National Football League is …. [ to be continued ]

Promotional photo for the movie Concussion, starring Will Smith
Will Smith stars as Dr. Bennet Omalu in the movie Concussion


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Michelle received a master's degree from Boston University in '2009. She went on to pursue a doctorate degree in public policy administration with a specialization in law. Although Michelle has completed her coursework for a doctorate in public policy administration with a specialization in law, she put her dissertation on hold to develop a sports social media business after she was asked to share about a former NFL player who had been stricken with ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Michelle's interviews of notable athletes, sports personalities, as well as, government officials has been published in a popular men's interest magazine. She has also written a column about college football for Gaming Today, and has an advice column at The Inscriber Magazine.


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