Concussion (2015) Movie Script

Set, hut!
Nice job, nice job.
Tempo, tempo. Let's go.
On the ball, on the ball. Let's go.
On the ball, let's go.
Tempo, tempo. Let's pick
it up this time, boys.
What personnel they got, Coach?
All right, let's change it.
Wall right, wall right.
Make sure you pick off the flyer.
Here we go, here we
go. Everybody up!
Ready. Set!
- Watch the motion.
- Set, hut!
There you go, get it, get it.
Turn up, turn up, turn up!
Think fast! There you go.
Just like this.
There you go. Nice job. Nice job.
Mike did. Someone to help me
with maximum protection. Mike did.
Someone to help me call
the play. Mike did.
Someone to help me get the
team in line. Mike did it.
Mike controlled it, Mike ran it.
We needed him, we used
him, we leaned on him.
He was our strength in our offense.
I know this man. I know his
backside as well as anybody.
Simply, nothing has ever
compared to Mike Webster.
Ladies and gentlemen,
the greatest center in
the history of the
National Football League,
your inductee into the Hall of Fame,
number 52, "Iron Mike" Webster!
Way to go, Mike!
I'd like to begin...
Um, obviously, I want it to be
fun, but I want to be truthful.
'Cause the people out there are
tremendous fans, uh, locally.
But as we, uh, as we go through
this, I want you to understand
the greatest thing
that has happened to me
in my experience of
professional football
is to have the opportunity to work
with people with a common goal
and with the same
purpose, and to sacrifice.
I'll say this,
it's painful playing
football, obviously.
And, uh, it's not a
lot of fun out there
to be in two-a-day drills
in the heat of the summer,
and, uh, banging heads.
It's not a natural thing.
I was scared I'd fail. Honest
to God, I was scared I'd fail.
I'm still scared of that.
And all we have to do
is finish the game.
If we finish, we win.
The state has asked, after a lengthy trial,
a death sentence and two appeals,
why we would learn anything new from you.
Dr. Omalu, do you have a medical degree?
Uh, yes. From the University of Nigeria.
At Enugu, Nigeria.
And I did my residency
at Columbia University
Medical School in New York.
Um, I also have master's degrees
in Public Health and Epidemiology.
In addition, I am a
certified physician executive,
uh, with a specialty in Emergency Medicine.
And, of course, I'm board-certified
in Forensic Pathology, Clinical
Pathology and Anatomic Pathology.
Uh, my... My focus is Neuropathology,
the examination of the brain.
- While working as a Medical...
- I'm sorry. So sorry. I'm sorry.
Uh, I'm also completing my MBA
at Carnegie Mellon University.
Oh, uh, and, uh, before I came to America,
a master's degree in the Theory of Music
from the Royal School of Music in London.
Oh, but... Oh, your... Your original
question, uh, what can I add?
My specialty is the science of death.
I think more about why people die
than I do the way people live.
Hands of the deceased.
Broken and dislodged fingernails.
The hands of a woman who fought
wildly for her life and lost.
The hands of the
defendant, Thomas Chambers.
And that is, in fact,
the blood of the victim.
Now, doesn't that suggest that
the state has the right man?
I thought so, until I heard hour 217
of Mr. Chambers' police interview.
I heard him very clearly
say, "I hate blood.
"I had a tooth pulled as a child once
"and it would not stop bleeding."
- So, I got curious.
- What about?
Hands. I could not reconcile
these conflicting sets of hands.
So, my mind... My mind is... My mind
is going mad, and I'm trying to figure out
if Thomas Chambers' family
has a history of hemophilia.
So, I asked his father
and, uh, his father said no.
But there is a strain of
hemophilia, hemophilia A,
so rare that it is never tested for.
Mr. Chambers tested
positive for hemophilia A.
His hands may have touched the victim,
perhaps to aid her, as he claims.
If his hands had been the murder weapon,
if he had been scratched or bitten,
he would have bled to death.
If the state of Pennsylvania
moves forward to execute,
you will be killing an innocent man.
Way to go, Joe.
Good morning, Gracie.
Good morning, Dr. Omalu.
- Here are the cases for today. Mmm-hmm.
- Okay. This is from yesterday.
Hey, we got a full room today.
- Cycle 'em through.
- Yes.
Let's begin with Rachel Green.
Okay, Rachel, I need your help.
We are in this together.
Please help me find out
what happened to you.
Here we go.
Danny, come on.
Dr. Omalu uses different
stuff. Makes less of a mess.
Possible causal relationship
between self-medication
and early head trauma,
leading to narcotics abuse and overdose.
You're not her shrink, Bennet!
If I know how she lived,
I know why she died.
And you should be careful, Danny.
One day, I may be rushing
through your autopsy.
Dr. Wecht, Dr. Omalu
is here to see you.
You know the reason you're
not back in Nigeria, don't you?
Uh, yes. Because I remind you of you.
Only less handsome.
What the hell is going on down there?
Nothing. I'm doing my work. I'm fine.
You're not fine.
Danny hates your guts. I've
never seen anything like it.
I think you're working a little too slow.
I'm a doctor.
The dead are my patients.
I treat them with respect.
But do you have to talk to them?
If you have to do that,
talk to them in your head.
And we discussed the knives.
You're still throwing them away.
We're a public agency in Pittsburgh.
They're expensive. Reuse them.
Would you want me to cut open your mother
with the same knife I
used on a serial killer?
I'd probably request it.
You need a girlfriend.
You need to touch somebody
alive every once in a while.
Living women are... Well,
occasionally they're a pain in the ass,
but quite often, they're amazing.
Give it a try.
Just be a little less of an artist.
- Fit in a little more.
- Yes.
It's another death row case.
The guy's being railroaded.
$1,000 for you.
Hey, man.
I am loving the digs.
It's Justin.
I'll just sit with you for a minute, huh?
We're all worried about you, man.
What are you doing, Mike? Mike! Mike!
- What are y'all doing? Give me that.
- No, no, no!
It's all right. It's just...
I just...
I don't want to go to sleep.
I heard you sold your
Super Bowl rings, Mike.
Your Super Bowl rings, Mike.
Mike, hey.
Pam's your wife.
- Garrett's your boy.
- Yeah, yeah.
I'm starting to forget things.
I'm saying this crazy crap to my kids.
I nearly pushed Keana into a wall.
I never thought I'd do that to her.
All right, well, don't...
Just don't give up.
All we got to do is finish the game.
We'll all be winners. Okay?
Have a good day. It's good to see you.
Bennet! A moment?
Yes, Father.
- How are you?
- We have a new member.
A young lady from Kenya.
She came to us a couple weeks
ago and she needs our help.
Oh, sure. How much do you need, Father?
She needs shelter, Bennet. Until
we find her something permanent.
Father, I'm working on my MBA.
I'm studying. My books
are all over, everywhere.
She's a nice girl. She's from Nairobi.
Went to British school.
She wants to work.
We're letting her tidy
up around the church.
We're asking you because we know
she'll be safe and cared for.
I feel God in you, Bennet.
Thank you, Father.
Who is she?
So, uh...
You can see.
That is, uh, basically my office, there.
Is that your father?
Ah, yes. The chief.
Those are my peaches.
They should not be here.
Your room.
Uh, your room. There is a...
The key, I have it for you.
How are you for... For money?
I have some.
Need is not weak.
Need is need.
I know where you are.
I was you.
You're in America now.
So, you have to be the
best version of yourself.
If you don't know what that is,
you pick something and fake it.
So, I will just...
There, for you.
What did you pick?
- What did I pick?
- To fake.
I picked an older bald-headed white man.
Why an older bald-headed white man?
Because he is the best at what he does.
Do you want to see your room?
I was a registered nurse at the
Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi.
I understand.
I meant no offense.
Hey, wake up!
Hey! Wake up, you.
Come on, now. This ain't no
hotel. You can't sleep here.
Put down your window, let's go!
You're Mike Webster, right?
Iron Mike.
I called for him. He's coming.
Okay, but I don't see him.
Come on, come on.
Come on, come on.
Oh, what? What is...
Oh, look at that.
Mike, he's here.
Hey, Mike.
- Look, can you, uh...
- Mike, can you hear me?
Uh, yeah, yeah, yeah. You just, uh...
You just have to tell me
what to do, because I am...
I am freaking overwhelmed.
We're gonna get you some help, Mike.
What are you taking right now?
Oh, the Ritalin.
Dexedrine, Prozac, Klonopin,
you're still taking all of those?
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Come sit down, Mike.
All of it, okay? And superglue.
- Okay.
- Yeah, superglue.
3.5 Haldol. You call his
wife. You tell her he's worse.
He's a lot worse.
You were my doctor. You
were my doctor, right?
I was the team doctor.
Okay! Okay, all right,
then, the team doctor!
All right? The team doctor!
All right? Then why aren't
you helping me, all right?
- I am gonna help you.
- You are not helping me.
You got to fix this! You
got to fix this! All right?
In here, all right?
And in here. I am dying in here!
- I'm dying in here, all right?
- Dr. Bailes.
I hear you, Mike.
It's okay.
Let me give you something
to help you rest, Mike.
You want to rest, don't you?
I just want you to help me, all
right? I just want you to help me.
I will help you, Mike.
Just help me. Just...
- Come and sit down.
- Okay.
Come and sit down.
Well, go ahead, give me the
drugs, give me the drugs.
Show me how you're gonna help me.
- Don't move, Mike.
- Mmm-hmm.
Come and sit down, Mike.
- Ooh.
- Come lay down, Mike.
You rest now, Mike.
What am I missing?
- Tumor?
- No.
All of his scans were clean.
Through the years,
the dauntless Webster
had abandoned his
family, slipped into
financial chaos and homelessness.
This is a hard day for the city
of Pittsburgh. On a personal note,
I can remember sitting
down with my father
and him giving me examples
of hard work ethic
and telling me when you get knocked
down, you get back up again.
I'm sorry, uh, I don't usually watch TV.
Then why do you have one?
One has a TV in this country.
Oh, I'm sorry, I don't
usually eat breakfast.
One should eat breakfast in this country.
Dear God,
thank You for the gifts You have
so graciously bestowed upon us.
Please help us to continue to
be deservant of Your blessings.
Just hours after he was
rushed to the nearby hospital,
football Hall of Famer,
Iron Mike Webster...
What is going on?
Mike Webster.
Who's Mike Webster?
He's the greatest center
to ever play the game.
He's a true warrior.
I'm sorry. What is a center?
The big guy in the middle. Hikes it.
My kid plays football because of this guy.
Okay, I'm sorry. I just
did not know who he was.
Well, if you're gonna live in this town,
you gonna work in this town,
football is a good thing.
I freaking can't believe it's you.
Well, as you know, I was put on
the schedule for this weekend.
I am put on the schedule for every weekend.
Come on. Come on.
The whole town was out of work.
He was a guy who gave us hope
when there really was no hope.
Just leave him be.
Look at his teeth.
He was pulling them out and
supergluing them back in.
Gracie, full autopsy, please.
Hey, come on, man. There's no
need to cut this man's body.
Why does an apparently healthy
favorite son of this city
become self-mutilating and homeless at 50?
Cardiac arrest may be
how he died, but not why.
Prepare the body, please.
I think what he's saying is that
sometimes in life, you know, you just...
You're asked to leave it alone.
But, uh, sometimes you can't.
Do you believe that he thinks this is
a time that I should leave it alone?
No, I don't.
I never leave it alone.
That's why people hate me.
People are saying bad things about you.
I can tell something is wrong.
But I can't do this alone.
I need your help to tell the
world what happened to you.
Oh, uh, sorry. Um...
Regular folds of gray matter.
No obvious contusions.
No shrinkage from Alzheimer's.
What's wrong?
Uh, can you show me the
CT scan again, please?
How old are these?
Mmm, six months.
Six months.
This brain should be a mess.
- But it looks completely normal.
- Mmm.
Records say severe headaches,
double vision, voices in his head.
No documented concussions.
He did complain of dizziness.
- Yes. How often?
- Once.
In 18 years of professional football?
"Joseph Maroon."
Sign the certificate. Sew him up.
Fix the brain, please.
You know we don't have
the budget to do that.
People do not go mad for no reason.
I'm going to continue looking.
No, you're not going to.
Danny, you are out of line.
Hey, you do not speak to me like that!
- I am the pathologist on duty!
- Oh, man.
- I am the pathologist of record!
- Hey! Listen!
This is not your laboratory!
My hands are on this body!
If I am wrong, I am wrong!
- And you are wrong.
- Not you, me!
Fix that brain.
Hey, I am gonna make sure
they don't pay for any of this.
I am going to write my orders
for the tests that I need.
And you're paying for it yourself.
Yes, Danny.
Please, exit my workplace.
In 25 years, I've never requested
a panel of tests like this.
What are you looking for?
There is not a single
case in a book or in life
where a man that healthy
went that mad that young
with no visible abnormality of the brain.
I don't know what I'm looking for.
I can tell.
It's going to cost you a fortune.
I understand.
Well, if you have to play hero,
just make sure we both come out okay.
Dr. Omalu. You got something
today. Left it on your desk.
Oh, thank you.
It's very late. Where have you been?
I got a job.
- Look at you.
- Well, uh, a shift.
At a home. Feeding old people.
That is fantastic. Congratulations.
What is that?
Mike Webster.
...phrase is worth $1,000.
And here we go.
Would you like me to get
you a TV for your room?
No. This one will be fine.
Oh, okay.
I can't tell what you're more afraid of.
What you will find, or what you won't.
My God.
My God.
...jacked up from those guys
that are gonna be racing
those sides on this.
Let's get to Jacked Up Number 5.
We're gonna begin with
the Rams and the Chargers.
Mark Bulger gonna be delivering
the ball to Tony Fisher.
Throws it down around his feet.
So, Donnie Edwards is gonna
level him right there.
Always be looking out for
the big hit right there.
- Tony Fisher got jacked up!
- Jacked up!
Number 4, the Seahawks
and the Chiefs.
D.J. Hackett is gonna make the catch
and Ty Law will
launch him backwards.
How far backwards?
Eyes on me! Eyes on me! Gentlemen!
This is a game of awareness.
It is a game of desire. That's why
we have the three-whistle drill.
Let's go!
When I blow this
whistle three times,
you seek out a
teammate. Any teammate.
You make collision, you be
physical, you be violent!
Bring it in here, let's go! Bring it in!
The only way you're gonna get
this player's hands off you,
you grab him by the throat and you squeeze!
You choke him until shit runs
down his leg! Do you understand me?
- Oh!
- Ooh, ooh, wow.
Let's go! Let's go!
Drive! Drive! Hit him!
Hit it! Drive! Drive!
The Jaguars and the
Eagles. Dirk Johnson.
And I'm gonna wait for this
because the look on his face
- tells you that he got jacked up!
- Jacked up!
And our Number 1 hit of the week,
Jon Kitna dropping back the pass,
and Shawntae Spencer
lifts him off his feet!
- Oh, my God! And Jon Kitna got jacked up!
- Jacked up!
You should see this, Bennet.
It's actually really beautiful.
Priest Holmes, he's diving.
Yes, he's got it! Touchdown!
Oh, tremendous! Tremendous catch!
I want to show you something.
A human brain
sits in a fluid completely
disconnected from the human skull.
Bennet, will you relax?
I can hear you breathing.
This is a really terrible brain.
Ever met the great DeKosky before?
Expect two minutes, tops.
Is that him?
So, you're our prize graduate.
Tell him.
It's Mike Webster.
The Pittsburgh...
I know who Mike Webster is.
He was 50.
You have my attention.
The Cape gannet.
A diving bird capable of generating
speeds of up to 75 miles per hour,
turning itself into a missile as it
collides with the face of the sea.
The red-head woodpecker can
absorb a G-force of 1,000,
pecking a tree 12,000 times per day,
85 million times over its lifetime.
Bighorn sheep can generate...
- Bennet.
- Hmm?
Okay, okay.
All of these animals have shock
absorbers built into their bodies.
The woodpecker's tongue extends through
the back of the mouth out of the nostril,
encircling the entire cranium.
It is the anatomical equivalent
of a safety belt for its brain.
Human beings?
Not a single piece of our anatomy
protects us from those types of collisions.
A human being will get concussed at 60 G's.
A common head-to-head
contact on a football field?
One hundred G's.
God did not intend for us to play football.
Let's keep God out of this.
Um, okay. Look.
What are the S's?
Uh, the Steelers.
- And the O's?
- The others, obviously.
Yes, the other team.
Do you even watch football?
Uh, no, not at all.
But I've been studying
Mike Webster's position.
The man in the middle is quite deceptively
the most violent position on the field.
The slaps, the punches, the forearm.
It is an unremitting storm
of sub-concussive blows.
The head as a weapon on every
single play of every single game
of every single practice, from the time
he was a little boy to a college man,
culminating in an 18-year
professional career.
By my calculations,
Mike Webster sustained
more than 70,000 blows to his head.
Now, now, these men, these men,
these are the fastest.
Now, their speed multiplied by
the speed of the men who hit them,
the G-forces generated
equivalent to hitting them on
the helmet with a sledgehammer.
All of this
triggered a cascading
series of neurological events
which unleashed killer proteins
upon Mike Webster's brain,
the tangles invading and strangling
his mind from the inside out.
Like pouring wet concrete
down kitchen pipes.
As it hardens, it chokes the
brain, leaving him unrecognizable,
even to himself.
I don't know football. I've never played.
But I am telling you that playing
football killed Mike Webster.
And I am certain that there are others.
And how can you possibly know that?
Common sense.
But they are either dead or lost
in the way that Mike Webster was lost.
I'm not interested in common sense.
I'm interested in science.
And science is knowing.
I know from these players' records
that their doctors believe
they have early Alzheimer's,
which is statistically impossible.
They're too young.
Because it's not Alzheimer's.
It is this.
I don't like it.
No, actually, I hate it.
But as a scientist,
I can't deny it.
Name it. You have to give this a name.
Oh, I'm sorry. Did I wake you?
Did they agree what it is?
Yes, yes. We are going to publish.
- With you?
- Yes.
In a medical journal.
With you?
Yes, with me. Together.
That's so...
Thank you. Thank you.
Uh, you, um...
Are you going somewhere?
With you.
To celebrate.
You don't dance, do you?
I had quite a revelation tonight.
This body was made for dancing.
When they say "dancing
machine," I am what they mean.
I'm very proud of you.
May I kiss you?
- Good morning.
- Cyril.
It's very weird to bring
women into the morgue at night.
She is a friend.
You don't have friends.
Listen, Danny knows she's been in there.
He's thinking about
filing a formal complaint.
I was working on Webster.
I know. I'll take care of it.
How much has that cost you so far?
I save.
- Everything.
- Really? How un-American.
Well, maybe it was worth it.
I got the call.
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Got a nice ring to it, doesn't it?
Yes. CTE.
So, what happens now?
We publish. Uh, DeKosky
is going to coauthor.
- DeKosky?
- Yes.
Omalu, DeKosky and Cyril Wecht.
Well, I'm very proud of you.
Thank you.
See? The gray's the right color.
The blue shows the dirt, even in the rain.
Here you go.
Let's go, baby!
Come on, get it, get it, get it!
And watch the play-action.
The safeties jump up.
And look at that touch
by Ben Roethlisberger.
And Plaxico Burress
does a great job.
Looked like he tripped...
You may not!
I say not to, but he does.
Roethlisberger scrambling
out of the pocket.
Throwing across the middle! Caught!
Burress at the 45!
And if you don't know, Plaxico!
Yeah. That was a pressure
toss by the rook.
- I'm hearing voices.
- Are you serious?
- They're just talking.
- Stop. Justin, stop. You're scaring me.
You're scaring them.
Look at me!
They're telling me to kill you.
They're telling me to kill you!
Get out! Get out!
Get out!
All units, black pickup
spotted on thruway eight miles...
Okay, I see him. Just
passing me. Where am I?
Reportedly driving into
opposite traffic last 10 miles.
Oh, my God.
Pickup has collided.
All units. Reported collision.
A few months after Steeler
favorite Justin Strzelczyk
was killed in that fiery accident,
yet another Steeler
favorite, Terry Long,
has apparently committed
suicide at the age of 45.
Oh, Terry.
You wonder where they are now? Now we know.
Terry Long, Pittsburgh Steelers.
I guess these guys only
die when you're working.
What other problems did he have?
Arrested a few times.
Fraud, federal theft.
Wow, arrested a lot.
I need a full autopsy.
Same tests as Mike Webster.
You're paying for that, too?
Yes, Danny, I'm paying for that, too.
Joseph Maroon.
This is my dream.
The schools are good.
You are good, Prema.
I'm sure you see good in me.
I see all that you are.
I want to marry you.
We can fall in love.
If you want to marry me,
I will marry you.
That is good, because I
already made the down payment.
I saved all my money and
I bought this for you.
Get me Elliot Pellman.
I have Chris Jones for you.
I'm just looking at it.
Anything to be concerned about?
This Omalu, he's a
coroner in Pittsburgh.
He looks like a nobody,
but let me get into it.
All right.
- Hello?
- Is Bennet Omalu there?
Uh, yes, he is.
I'm a neurologist who's worked
around football for years.
Very familiar with the
NFL's concussion research.
And the League
concluded unequivocally
that football players
do not get brain damage.
Webster is one random
case, Mr. Omalu.
Dr. Omalu.
Well, whatever. You're an uneducated
quack and your career is over.
They said you were uneducated?
Did they even read your resume?
Well, I got calls, too.
Apparently, the National
Football League owns neuroscience.
Who knew?
"Failure to find."
"Absence of clinical information."
- What do they want?
- Your head on a spike.
They want you to retract your findings.
They want you to say you made it all up.
- I made it up?
- They're accusing you of fraud.
If you retract, you'll be
fine. This all goes away.
Why... Why are they doing this?
They're terrified of you.
What did you think they
were gonna say? "Thank you"?
What the hell for?
For being told.
For knowing.
Oh, I understand.
You think you're being a good American.
So, the city of Pittsburgh
spent $233 million
to build their glorious
Steelers a new stadium.
All the while, they were closing
schools and raising taxes.
These people are not
out to change the world.
And this is not some
quaint academic discovery
stuck in the back of an
obscure medical journal.
Bennet Omalu is going
to war with a corporation
that has 20 million people, on a
weekly basis, craving their product,
the same way they crave food.
The NFL owns a day of the week.
The same day the church used to own.
Now it's theirs.
They're very big.
Terry Long.
The tests came back positive.
Football gave him CTE,
and CTE told his brain
to drink a gallon of
antifreeze, and he died.
I told you there would be more.
You have done great work.
No one would blame you if you stopped now.
Oh, no one is stopping anything.
Then I'd be lying if I didn't tell you
how important your next move is.
By the time Terry Long committed suicide,
his brain had been consumed by
chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
And it is probable,
perhaps even likely,
that a larger percentage of
professional football players
have and will die from CTE.
This was the Pittsburgh
Medical Examiner's
own Dr. Bennet Omalu,
who today threw down the gauntlet at the
feet of the National Football League.
Thank you.
What do you think?
I think you're gonna be an American hero.
I'm not even an American.
That's even better.
That's so fucking American.
"Dr. Maroon, who is also vice-chairman of
"the neurosurgery department at the
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center,
"said of Omalu's CTE diagnosis
that it was fallacious reasoning."
Yeah, is this Bennet Omalu?
Dr. Bennet Omalu.
You want to pussify this country?
You want to vaginize football?
Get the hell out. Or they'll
be doing your autopsy.
Dr. Omalu?
I took you to be an early riser.
I didn't want to call
you at your office.
This is Julian Bailes.
Do you know who I am?
I know who you are.
Mike Webster was a personal friend.
Was he?
Dr. Omalu.
You're in trouble, but you're not wrong.
I'd like to talk with you.
The NFL has known about this
concussion crisis for years.
And what you have there is the research
that forms the basis for the
League's concussion guidelines.
In this study,
some academics put helmets on
monkeys and shook them real hard.
They threw dogs and pigs and human
cadavers down elevator shafts.
Helmets on crash-test dummies
and bashed them together.
And their conclusion?
"No striking player experienced
neck injury or concussion."
So, a concussion's no more
dangerous than a hangnail.
- And that was it?
- Oh, no, no, no.
The NFL did what every organization does.
They put together a
commission to study the study.
Dr. Elliot Pellman's Mild
Traumatic Brain Injury Committee.
You know who else was on that committee?
- Dr. Maroon.
- Joe, yeah, he was on there.
Plus a couple of other team doctors,
an equipment manager and two trainers,
guys who tape knees for a living.
I mean...
Why am I here, Dr. Bailes?
Doctor, I'm not with the Steelers anymore.
I'm not with the NFL.
Now, do you know how many Pittsburgh
Steelers, just Steelers, now,
have died in the last few years?
And I'm not talking about the older guys.
I'm talking about men that I worked with,
and just the ones that I know about.
And I don't want to see
any more of these men vanish
in the back of a pickup truck.
I know them.
I was them.
And I think you're doing this wrong.
As long as the NFL continues to
deny the truth, nothing changes.
It's only true if they say it's true.
And they've got to say it out loud.
Get me a meeting with the Commissioner.
I want to sit with him, man to man,
face to face. I will
make him say it out loud.
They don't want to talk to you.
Football does not want to talk to you.
Like my daddy, a Louisiana
judge, always used to say to me,
"Son, God is number one
and football is number two."
Besides, to them you're not even American.
You're not even African-American.
A doctor?
The League has kept everyone in the dark.
And you turned on the lights and
gave their biggest boogeyman a name.
What's happening now, what you think
they're doing to you, that's nothing.
I've done my own research on
this NFL Brain Injury Committee.
You know what Dr. Elliot Pellman is?
He's a rheumatologist.
He's a specialist in
arthritis and joint pain.
Can you tell me what a rheumatologist
knows about the brain and brain disease?
Corporate men like this, in this
country, usually go to Harvard or Yale.
He went to medical school in Guadalajara.
- Mexico?
- Yes.
I did not know that.
That's beautiful.
Now, two cases does not meet
the scientific burden of proof.
You have to keep going.
Just so you understand, this
does not show up on a CT scan.
Which means there's no
diagnosis before death.
In order for me to keep
going, more have to die.
Unfortunately, that's already happening.
Double D.
Did I hear right? We're losing you?
Tapping you for mayor of Chicago?
Still a long, long road, my friend.
All-world killer athlete to civilian
to king, all in one lifetime.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give
you Mayor Dave Duerson...
...who has figured it out.
- Dave!
- Yeah.
It's me, man. Andre Waters.
How you doing, man?
Look, let me walk with you.
This is not good, Dave, not
good. It's in the paperwork.
But, um, why is the
committee doing this, man?
There are five other
trustees. You talk to them?
You're the only one who played, man.
You the only one who
knows what it is to be us.
Hey, hey, hey. You and me,
we were the same, man, huh?
We were bangers, hitmen.
File the appeal.
You denied the appeal, Dave! Look,
something's wrong with me, man.
I can't sleep. Okay...
I mean, my eyes get crossed.
It just weirds me out.
- Hey, hey! Look at me!
- Jesus!
Look. Twelve years I paid my dues.
I made millions for those assholes.
I mean, come on. It's
not even your money, man.
I'm just asking back what I gave!
Listen. Fat? Stop eating like a
pig. Got a headache? See a doctor.
I've seen 20 doctors!
I just need rent money.
Get your shit together!
You used to be a warrior.
- You fucking sellout.
- Get your hands off me!
I'm sorry, I'm sorry,
Dave. I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
Look, hey, hey, hey.
Remember when we were kids?
Remember when we were kids?
Playing's what we lived for. Huh?
I need your help. I need your help, Dave.
Dave, help me!
"Andre Waters, known as 'Dirty Waters, '
"notorious for his aggressive style of play
"and devastating hits that
filled highlight reels.
"Waters died of a self-inflicted
gunshot wound to the head.
"He was 44."
And, uh, this is the part
where he, uh, got knocked out.
Andre Waters has
it. We'll be back...
He said he was all right.
Said he was just a little dazed,
but he said he was all right.
You look well.
How are the kids?
Kids are fine.
I'm fine.
I'm sorry I couldn't
make it to the funeral.
No one made it to the funeral.
He was the sun.
We was the planets.
And then, after he gave
me this card, he said, "Ma,
"I'm ready to go."
Because he knew people
was thinking he was crazy.
Not crazy.
He'd already become someone else.
You definitely think he had this disease?
Because I want to believe that.
I believe so, yes.
And now you want what's left of my boy.
You heard about Mike Webster?
And Terry Long and...
And who else?
What do you really want to ask me, Julian?
Dr. Cyril Wecht, Dr. Julian Bailes.
- Pleasure to meet you.
- Mmm-hmm.
Andre Waters.
Justin Strzelczyk.
I just kept sending them back out there.
What the hell were you thinking?
You've got to be a part of it.
You've got to be on the
sidelines with them to understand.
Whatever it takes to keep them in the
game, to keep the whole thing going.
Tape, needles, Vicodin, Toradol, Lidocaine,
Percocet, Lexapro, Zoloft.
- Have I left anything out?
- Mmm.
It's tires and oil.
Just mechanics trying to keep
the cars on the racetrack.
Yeah, well, it's not medicine.
I don't know what it is.
It's business.
- There you go.
- Okay, okay.
Three cases is the
scientific burden of evidence.
We have four.
That is far beyond anything
the NFL can or cannot deny.
This is bigger than they are.
They have to listen to us now.
Dr. Maroon.
- Would you like a drink?
- I said five minutes.
He doesn't want a drink.
Your conclusions totally
misrepresent the facts.
To say that Webster and Long and
Waters were killed by football is...
Is fallacious reasoning.
Yes, I know.
Where's he going with this?
Just hear him out.
I would like to propose
a formal, controlled study
of former and current NFL football players.
We will bring together the greatest minds
in America to solve the problem.
We should be working together.
Who do you think you're talking to?
Excuse me?
I was the President of the
Congress of Neurological Surgeons.
And I was the man who
performed the autopsies
on Mike Webster, Terry Long.
Your men.
Men under your care.
Do you know what Mike Webster's wife said?
She said that if she had
known that Mike was sick,
she would have done more for him.
But he died in disgrace.
Your man.
Your man.
You took an oath.
- Tell the truth.
- The truth?
- Tell the truth!
- The truth is
that the NFL is a blessing
and a salvation, my friend.
We employ hundreds of thousands of people.
We send thousands and thousands
of poor kids to school.
The ownership of this football club
has donated millions of
dollars to countless charities.
Do you want me to go on?
That won't be necessary.
Oh, it is necessary.
Football is the most
popular sport in America
because it is so goddamn fantastic!
And that, right there?
That is the beating heart of this city.
And you want to, what, end it?
You want to fold up the
National Football League?
I want to solve the problem.
Who are you?
What are you asking?
You're a pathologist.
You perform autopsies.
Yes, I am a mere pathologist.
That's it. That's all I am.
Do you have any idea of the
impact of what you're doing?
Yes, I do.
Do you understand the impact
of what you are doing?
If just 10% of the mothers in America
decide that football is too
dangerous for their sons to play,
that is it. It is the end of football.
Kids, colleges, and eventually, it's just
a matter of time, the professional game.
Joe, he does autopsies. He's
not in the outcome business.
He has no business.
Do you know what history does to people,
trained physicians,
- who ignore science?
- Oh, wow.
Sir, I am not done!
History laughs.
If you continue to deny my work,
the world will deny my work.
But men, your men,
continue to die, their
families left in ruins.
Tell the truth.
Tell the truth.
You sure... You sure you want to do this?
I would ask you that
same question, Dr. Maroon.
Oh, your study, I'll get back to you.
Well, that went well.
When I was a boy growing up in Nigeria,
heaven was here and America was here.
To me, it was the place where God
sent all of His favorite people.
You could be anything,
you could do anything.
Americans were the manifestation
of what God wanted us all to be.
I have never wanted anything
as much as I wanted to be
accepted as an American.
But Mike Webster goes
mad and nobody asks why.
They make fun of him.
They insult him on TV.
And now they want to pretend
that his disease does not exist.
And they want to bury me.
It's offensive.
I am offended.
I am the wrong person
to have discovered this.
There is no coincidence in this world.
Tell me,
what is the statistical probability
that you, not just a doctor,
but Bennet Omalu, came to America,
ended up here in this rusty place
for you alone to be the one to see this?
When I arrived in New York,
I was attacked.
What happened?
Something that is better left unsaid.
But that man almost broke me.
I wanted to give up and go back.
But I knew God.
I decided to trust His wisdom and I stayed.
And now I am looking at this man,
an Omalu Onyemalukwube.
Your name, it means, "If you know,
"you must come forth and speak."
How did you know that?
I called your father.
He was pleased to hear from me.
Yes, I am sure he was.
If you don't speak for the dead, who will?
You are of the Igbo tribe, Bennet.
When you have truth,
the thing you are told you cannot do
is the thing you must do.
Embrace that
and nothing created by
man can bring you down.
Omalu's gone to the
press now. Listen to this.
"After examining the remains
"of former National Football
League player Andre Waters,
"a neuropathologist in Pittsburgh,
Dr. Bennet Omalu, is claiming
"that Mr. Waters had sustained brain damage
"from playing football, and he says
"that led to his depression
and ultimate death."
It gets worse.
"Dr. Julian Bailes, medical director
"for the Center for the
Study of Retired Athletes
"and the chairman of the Department of
"Neurosurgery of West Virginia University,
"said, 'Unfortunately, I'm not shocked.'"
There's more Omalu and more Bailes.
Bailes. Why do I know that name?
Steelers team doctor. Neurologist
for the Players Association.
- Wow.
- Yeah, wow.
The Times is calling
it a potential epidemic.
It's not the Sports section, not Science.
It's A-1, front page
New York Times.
Apparently, the Commissioner
has been yearning for years to
go back to his litigator roots.
Paul Tagliabue announced
that he would retire in July
after nearly 17 years.
...comprised the most lucrative
and stabilizing reign
perhaps in the history.
At the NFL owners meeting in
Illinois, Roger Goodell...
There's a new sheriff in town.
His name is Roger Goodell.
Each day seems to bring a
fresh round of tributes.
What I'm here to do now
is protect the shield.
The NFL isn't just a sports league.
It's an entertainment product.
America's game.
I want us to go on
enjoying our great game...
Allegheny County Coroner.
Sure, one second.
- It's Dr. Julian Bailes.
- Yes, yeah.
Here he is.
Hey, turn on the TV.
Yes, I'm watching.
You asked for a face-to-face with
the Commissioner? Man to man?
Goodell and the NFL are asking
for a concussion summit.
A full presentation
in Chicago next week.
They heard you.
You have your shot.
Why don't you throw in some football stuff?
Some non-medical terms?
Things we'd say.
Why do I need to say things they'd say?
I thought I was here for the other reason.
You have what, seven, eight degrees?
You're one of the smartest people
they'll ever meet. You... Well...
You know what?
You're gonna be fine.
How about you?
How will you be?
You know, it is a mindless, violent
game and then it's Shakespeare.
I mean, to me it's
like life that way.
And I know you can't
see how exciting
and beautiful all that
is, and I don't blame you.
But what I'm trying to tell
you is this is not fun for me.
All of the people we're going to
see tomorrow, I know them personally.
And that feeling you have
when someone you love and
admire screws you over?
They're going to have that feeling.
Because of me.
And there is not a damn
thing I can do about it.
We have to talk.
What's wrong?
There's no easy way to say this,
so I'm just going to say it.
They're not gonna let you speak.
They don't even want you in the room.
They want me to do it.
- One of their own.
- One of their own.
So, they want to pretend...
That you don't even exist, that's right.
Okay. Yeah.
- They still have to sit and listen.
- To you.
Yes. You blew up their whole world.
And yours, Julian.
Yes. Mine.
Because how can it be possible
that some African voodoo doctor
could understand this
subject better than them?
Or even better than you?
Wait a second. You think
this is about Bennet Omalu?
I'm not here because of you. I'm
here because people are dying.
You are here for redemption.
You are here to use me
to cleanse your sins.
You self-righteous bastard.
Do you have any idea what I
could have, how much I could have
if I went back to my side of the
ball and just kept my mouth shut?
Everything in my world is telling me
not to agree with you, except one.
So, here I am.
Up here, beside you. Not down
there in that audience with them.
What more can I do to prove myself to you?
I am sorry.
Convince them, Julian.
You know, my father can't
remember a goddamn thing.
He never played a day of football.
He was too busy working
in a factory, you quack!
I beg your pardon?
You take your bullshit
science, go back to Africa.
And get away from our game!
What happened?
Roger Goodell just said that
Justin Strzelczyk may have
gotten his concussion swimming.
In a swimming pool.
That's insanity.
This whole thing was staged.
They needed to say that they heard
us so they could goddamn bury us.
The science means nothing to them.
This is an important day
in the National Football League.
We've had some very good dialogue
which will help us improve
the care for our players.
What do you think
when you hear about
former NFL players
suffering from symptoms
that has only been seen in boxers
and people at over 80 years old?
I mean, what does that say about the
effect of concussions on players?
I'm not a doctor here,
but you have to look at
their entire medical history.
This is an evolving
science. And that's okay.
While I agree with the Commissioner,
no empirically determined
proof was presented today.
Because there simply isn't any.
Because according to
the NFL's own numbers,
half of all players with concussions
are sent back into the same game,
including some who were
actually knocked out cold.
Ira Casson was head of the team of
NFL doctors who had
looked into the issue
and determined that the concern
over head injuries was overblown.
Is there any evidence, as
far as you're concerned,
that links multiple head injuries
among pro football
players with depression?
With dementia?
With early onset of Alzheimer's?
Is there any evidence
as of today that links
multiple head injuries with any
long-term problem like that?
- In NFL players? No.
- Yeah.
Hey, little one.
This is your father.
I am in deep shit.
I have not done anything wrong,
but I am being punished.
It might not be so nice
when you get out here.
You are still with God.
Please ask Him to help me.
It's all right. It's okay.
- What is this?
- This is the FBI.
Apparently, I'm being
relieved of my duties.
What? I don't understand.
Dr. Wecht has been indicted
on 84 federal counts, including...
Please, please, Tex. Let me at
least have the joy of telling him.
I'm being indicted on 84 federal counts,
including mail fraud, wire fraud,
other related offenses, arising out of
my use of government resources
to advance my private practice.
Including, but not limited
to, uh, mileage vouchers,
misuse of office stationery and
my personal use of the fax machine.
- Faxes?
- Yeah.
They could not come up with
something this stupid in Nigeria.
This man has been a
public servant for decades.
Have you ever performed any
private services on county time?
- Have I?
- Whoa!
Apparently, we've both hurt
the government's feelings.
Are you referring to the death row
case where I used my personal time?
We don't want you, Dr.
Omalu, but we can have you.
And what does that mean?
That means they want your testimony.
- Against you?
- Yes.
I... I understand.
You are attacking him to get to me.
I know.
This is because his name is on my research.
What research is that?
No. I will resign first.
In which case, your immigration
status will be revised
since your status requires
full-time employment.
Then I will get another
job in another city.
That would be fine.
That would be fine.
All I asked is that if you did
this, we both came out okay.
Not professional ruination.
Whatever takes over for me,
they're going to want the CTE
information, you know that.
What if they show up here with a warrant?
On suspicion of what? Science?
Ah, suspicion of bullshit. We got screwed.
You didn't deserve it.
You know the worst part? How easy it was.
Cyril, they are not going to
make me say one word against you.
What are you gonna say?
Cyril Wecht's a loudmouth asshole?
I don't care. I'm tired.
My balls are low.
I didn't do good enough by you.
Cyril, um...
I cannot go back to Nigeria.
Everything that I am is here.
My child has got to be born in America.
Don't worry.
I'll get you a job.
Hey, you can work with
me in the prison laundry.
Call the surgeon.
We need a goddamn drink.
I solved the problem.
All they have to do is put
on the side of the helmet,
"The Surgeon General has determined that
"playing football is
hazardous to your health."
You got to put it on
both sides of the helmet.
Did you know that Paul Tagliabue...
This is the former Commissioner Tagliabue,
did you know that Paul was a
partner in Covington and Burling?
Which is the same law firm that represented
the big seven tobacco companies.
Of course he was.
But now they're representing
the National Football League.
Of course they do.
My last year with the Steelers,
we moved a game from a Sunday to
a Tuesday because of a blizzard.
And the League said that they
weren't concerned about the ratings
because the League was
immune from acts of God.
I'm so sorry.
There's no heartbeat.
May... May we have the room, please?
Excuse us. Thank you.
I'm so sorry.
I'm so sorry. I made a mistake.
This is my fault.
Dr. Pierson, E.R. med one.
Dr. Pierson, E.R. med one.
I wish I had never met Mike Webster.
They destroyed us.
And I don't understand why
it is happening this way.
Bennet, listen to me.
Do you know what I chose to fake?
We will have this family.
We will.
Just not here.
We have to go.
Hello? Mr. Omalu?
Dr. Omalu.
I just need the measurements
for the flat screens.
That won't be necessary.
Tell me what happened to you, Jose.
Tell me.
It's going to be okay.
My mind keeps slipping.
I can't seem to find the
goddamn words no more.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
I just can't do this.
And I'm sorry.
Bennet, it's Julian.
Dave Duerson killed himself today.
Shot himself in the
chest. In the heart.
Hold on, hold on.
- My God.
- He left a note.
He wants his brain to be donated.
To be examined.
They said that we were right.
Benny, you there?
Yes. Yes, I'm here.
A Pro Bowler in that
deep with NFL leadership
killing himself in the
way he killed himself,
they can't explain this one away.
Players are gonna want
to hear from you now.
Trying to find the...
I don't know what to say to them.
Tell them what's really happening.
A small boy, uh, came to me
and said, "Mister, why
do you hate football?"
I said, "I don't hate football."
He said, "Yes, my father
said you hate football."
I said, "You tell your
father to come see me."
My wife watches the games.
And she will scream
and she will jump.
She startles me a lot.
But through her eyes,
I can see the beauty
and the grace, the power.
I said to her that I wished
I'd never met Mike Webster.
But that was before I knew him.
He has given me a great gift.
A dangerous gift.
The gift of knowing.
When a man is a soldier,
he knows what is at risk.
He may be injured or even killed.
But when a man is a football player,
he knows he may break
his arm or his leg.
He does not know that
he can lose his mind.
His family, his money.
His life.
They have to know.
Mike Webster.
Justin Strzelczyk.
Terry Long.
Andre Waters.
Dave Duerson.
By dying, they speak for the living.
And I speak for them.
That is all I do.
Forgive them.
Forgive yourselves.
Be at peace.
Commissioner Goodell,
is there a link between
playing professional
football and the likelihood
of contracting a
brain-related injury
such as dementia, Alzheimer's,
depression or CTE?
We're doing everything we
possibly can for our players now.
I just asked you a simple
question. What's the answer?
It sort of reminds me
of the tobacco companies, pre-'90s,
when they kept saying,
"No, there's no link
"between smoking and, um,
damage to your health,
"or ill health effects."
And they were forced to
admit that that was incorrect
through a spate of
litigation in the 1990s.
And my question to you is...
Oh, we have heard
from the NFL time and time again.
You're always "studying," you're
always "trying," you're "hopeful."
Son of a bitch.
I want to know what are you doing
in the negotiations
that are going on now
to deal with this problem and the
other problems related to the injuries
that football players obtain
and its impact on their health.
You did all this.
I know my time is
drawing to a close,
but let me just say this to Mr. Goodell,
uh, and everybody who's here today
that I think it's
time for the Congress
of the United States to take a look.
First time in Washington?
Uh, yes.
Well, we're thrilled you
accepted our invitation.
I was, uh, very curious.
Chief Medical Examiner
for Washington, D.C.,
means you would also
consult with the CIA and FBI
and any foreign government
requesting the assistance of
the United States government.
Essentially, you're America's
forensic pathologist.
Wouldn't have to put on
scrubs or perform an autopsy.
You're beyond all that now.
Would you like to hear
about the benefits package?
I mean, I'm sure it's fine.
We know everything you did, Dr. Omalu.
You exemplify everything
it is to be an American.
You belong here with us,
in the nation's capital.
Why don't you take a couple
days and think about it?
Get up, get up field, get
up field, get up field!
You heard him. Move up field, let's go!
You, on the ball, on the ball.
Okay, let's huddle up!
Bring it back, huddle up.
All right, call it out!
Douglas, I'm talkin' to you.
Get 'em, get 'em, get 'em!
That's it. Good!
There you go. Good job,
good job, on the ball.
- Let's go, let's go, tempo, tempo!
- Tempo, tempo!
How 'bout we hit somebody this time, huh?
Try a little more contact.
A tragic loss for
the family and fans
of former Chargers star Junior Seau
after he was found dead
in his Oceanside home.
Good evening and thanks
for joining us tonight.
Junior Seau's death is being
investigated as a suicide.
Police say his girlfriend
reported finding him
with an apparently self-inflicted
gunshot wound to the chest.
Tonight there's widespread shock
and disbelief over the sudden death.
Standing in front of her
son's beachfront home,
Junior Seau's mother poured
out her heart and her grief.
I'm shocked.
But I appreciate
everybody's over here,
show your love...
We loved Junior.
We love you, Mrs. Seau!
Show your love to my son.