A movie about concussions is coming to a theater near you on Christmas Day.
Will Smith figures that the subject is important enough that he hung his star on it.
I’ve seen the trailers for Concussion on the big screen. I’m a football fan, have been my whole life. Yet I’ve become increasingly concerned about what’s happening out there to these fellows because of the shots they take to their head. Football, the world is finally coming to grips with, is dangerous to the brain.
Why does this serious subject find itself on the Blog of Funny Names, you ask?
From his WikiPedia page:
“Omalu was born on September 1968, the sixth of seven siblings. He was born during the Nigerian Civil War, which had caused his family to flee from their home in the predominantly Igbo village of Enugwu-Ukwu in southeastern Nigeria. They later returned, two years after Omalu’s birth. Omalu’s mother was a seamstress and his father a civil mining engineer and community leader in Enugwu-Ukwu. The family name, Omalu, is a shortened form of the surname, Onyemalukwubew, which translates to ‘if you know, come forth and speak.’ ”
Omalu came to America in 1994 to study epidemiology at the University of Washington. In 1995, he left for Columbia University’s Harlem Hospital Center and switched to anatomic and clinical pathology.
After residency, he moved to Pittsburgh and took up forensic pathology, and became interested in neuropathology.
That takes us to the brain, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the NFL, Will Smith and the upcoming movie.
In short, Omalu studied how the hard knocks of football drastically hurt NFL players. NFL players did not like what he found. It got ugly.
From a review on Time.com by Sean Gregory: “Omalu faces off against the film’s bogeyman, the NFL, which goes all out to crush his findings. The league tries to discredit Omalu as a quack, even though, as we find out at the beginning of the film, he has about a dozen degrees. The racial overtones are clear: Who’s this African guy mucking with America’s passion? Omalu is harassed, and even receives a death threat.”
Oh, yeah, lest I forget. Omalu’s wife is played by one of my BoFN favorite actresses, Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
Here’s the source for the photo of Will Smith.
Here’s the source for the photo of Bennet Omalu.
Here’s the link to Bennet Omalu’s WikiPedia page.
Here’s the link to the Time review.