Will Smith’s newest film, ‘Concussion’ is likely to become a major blockbuster. Following the effects of severe head trauma in sports combined with elements of a medical thriller, the movie, discussed more here, also brings light to an increasing concern. Traumatic Brain Injuries, or TBIs, are on the rise in the United States. There are many causes for these injuries, including vehicle and work accidents. However, one that is not as well researched is the role of contact sports.
Many adults go into professional sports with at least some knowledge of the risks involved. However, there is significant evidence that many football players have not been properly informed about the risks of repeated head injuries and early death. CNN reported on the links between repeated head injuries and early death. Every other month there seems to be another case of a former NFL player dying well before their time.
In high school and college, there are even more risks. Not only are many players and their parents completely unaware of the potential risks, but there are issues involving age, as well. The effects of such repeated trauma on the brains of still developing people have not been well researched. The growing brain could face many issues, including cognitive and physical damage.
The trailer for Smith’s movie can be seen below:
The movie, just from its existence, will significantly increase the profile of such injuries and their potential effects on the lives of sports players. The film has already garnered mostly positive reviews and will be released on Christmas. Smith, being one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, can also be a valuable advocate for those that have been hurt by this growing trend.
Medical science’s understanding of these injuries will increase over time. There is an increasing effort to reduce the role of young people in such contact sports, or at least allow parents to better understand the potential risks. With increased funding and community effort, this wider problem might see an eventual solution. For now the light shone by this movie will be a good first step.