Doctor Portrayed in “Concussion” Movie Says Letting Children Play Football Should Be Considered Child Abuse

Dr. Bennet Omalu. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
Dr. Bennet Omalu. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

The doctor who discovered CTE believes that letting anyone under 18 years old play football should be considered child abuse.

Dr. Bennet Omalu, a neuropathologist and expert in the study of the effects of concussions, recently reacted to the study that found 110 of 111 former NFL players who had their brains donated suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). He said that letting children play football is the definition of “child abuse,” and doesn’t believe there is any way to make the sport safer.

“Someday there will be a district attorney who will prosecute for child abuse [on the football field], and it will succeed,” Omalu said during an event in New York, according to Sports Illustrated. “It is the definition of child abuse.

“If you play football, and if your child plays football, there is a 100 percent risk exposure. There is nothing like making football safer. That’s a misnomer,” Omalu continued.

Omalu’s life and findings on concussions was recently dramatized in the movie “Concussion,” with Will Smith portraying Omalu on the big screen. Omalu doesn’t believe there is anything the NFL can do to make the game safer for its players, and even if there was, the league would only be focused on their own bottom line.

“The league is a corporation,” he said. “What do corporations do? Make money. They’re not there to provide health care or perform research. That is not what they’re there to do. They’re selling product. … If they feel the need to make any changes, they’re making calculated changes that will enhance their bottom line.”

SOURCE: CBS Boston