"Concussion" doctor: NFL safety initiative is window dressing - KMOV.com

"Concussion" doctor: NFL safety initiative is window dressing

Posted: Updated:
Doctor Bennet Omalu, who was portrayed by Will Smith in the movie Concussion, says it is not appropriate for anyone under age 18 to play football because of the contact nature of the sport. Credit: KMOV Doctor Bennet Omalu, who was portrayed by Will Smith in the movie Concussion, says it is not appropriate for anyone under age 18 to play football because of the contact nature of the sport. Credit: KMOV
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist best known for being portrayed by Will Smith in the movie “Concussion”, visited the state of Missouri this week as a guest lecturer at Westminster College in Fulton.

Dr. Omalu discovered the degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) which has been found in many NFL players after their deaths.  His insistence that football is not a game meant for humans is something that’s caused widespread controversy around the country.

The NFL recently announced a $100 million safety initiative aimed at making the sport of football better and safer through research.  Dr. Omalu is not impressed.

“My reaction is it is window dressing.  It’s a marketing gimmick.  The NFL is not a healthcare corporation.  It’s not a research corporation.  The NFL has no business in research,” Dr. Omalu said.

The NFL wants to find ways to add new technology such as helmets and other padding to make the game safer.

“As someone who has done over 8,000 autopsies and examined over 12,000 brains I do not think the solution is technologicalal.  The solution is pharmacological."

“The solution is not technological because like Will Smith said in the movie ‘God did not intend for us to play football’.  The anatomic configuration of the human head and the human brain does not present any platform for us to develop any technological device that would prevent the human brain from bouncing around like a balloon inside your skull,” Dr. Omalu said.

The forensic pathologist called the Broncos’ recent hits on Panthers quarterback Cam Newton “barbaric”.  He says no one under the age of 18 should be allowed to play any high contact sports such as football, ice hockey, boxing, mixed martial arts, wrestling or rugby.

"Child abuse in many jurisdictions in America is the intentional or unintentional exposure of a child to the risk of injury and/or pain.  The injury does not have to occur."

“For example, you lock up your six year old child at home alone and go clubbing – you could lose custody of that child because of the risk of exposure to injury.  Look at what we do as a society in America.  We put a helmet on the head of a child and ask that child to run around and slam his head onto the heads of other children.  Many times like you saw in the movie the kids fall and they cry,” Dr. Omalu said.

“If that is not child abuse what is it?”

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Watch News 4 Now

Mouse over player for controls · LAUNCH FULL PLAYER

Powered by Frankly