Since a little — or a lot — of fiction has been present on both sides of the concussion debate, why not make a fictitious feature film about it?
According to Deadline.com, Ridley Scott wants to develop a movie that focuses on the effects of concussions on pro football players and the role owners have had in allowing it to occur.
It’s not a huge surprise, given the recent attention on the problem. And while concussions are indeed a problem for football at every level, there are plenty of important issues and nuances that Scott hopefully would try to address — including the reality that, even with everything we now know about concussions, thousands of men vie every year to win jobs on NFL teams and scholarships to play football at NCAA institutions.
Why do they still do it? Because even with the known incidents of dementia, ALS, and other severe cognitive impairments, the risk of such an outcome remains relatively small. As Americans, we take far bigger risks for far less money than what it pays to play in the NFL.
Also as Americans, we have the right to assume those risks, whether they arise from playing pro football, serving in the military, becoming a police officer or fire fighter, working in a coal mine, or engaging in unsafe activities like riding a motorcycle without a helmet, jumping out of an airplane, or climbing rock walls.
That aspect of the issue is in many ways as important as the NFL’s history of overlooking the problem. Now that the problem is known, the willingness to assume the risk has yet to change.
Regardless of the contents of the film, it’s safe to assume the NFL won’t be allowing any of its team names or trademarks to be used.