Dave Duerson’s Family Says ‘Concussion’ Film Smears Him

Relatives of Duerson accused the movie of making up encounters that portrayed him as a villain, but the director said “Concussion” was “spiritually accurate.”

Comments: 100

  1. I wasn't going to see the movie but after this article I really am looking forward to it. This is complicated issue and it sounds like the movie at least had the guts to tackle it at all. No other movie would even attempt to go against the NFL.

  2. It is a complicated issue, however I think it's a stretch to give them any credit "to go against the NFL". The battle with the NFL on this issue was fought way before Sony took up the movie project. If you haven't already seen it, PBS Frontline series made a documentary on it, called "League of Denial".

  3. wow, some paragraphs of this article are lifted almost verbatim from a 2011 article under a different byline (Alan Schwarz, Feb 22, 2011, "A Suicide, a Last Request, a Family's Questions").

    For example, from the 2011 Schwarz article: "Around this time, Duerson’s life began changing course. His company, Duerson Foods, was forced into receivership. His 17-room home in Highland Park, Ill. — the one with “NFL22” carved on a driveway pillar — went into foreclosure. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor domestic-battery charge after pushing Alicia during an argument, leading him to resign from Notre Dame’s board. Duerson filed for personal bankruptcy last September."

    then from this December 2015 article, with the byline Ken Belson: "But around this time, Duerson’s life began changing. His company was forced into receivership, and his home went into foreclosure. He also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor domestic battery charge after pushing his wife during an argument. He filed for personal bankruptcy."

    There's no credit to Schwarz. Um, I think that is not OK.

  4. Sorry, Liz, but your comment reflects a lack of knowledge about journalistic practices.

    Schwarz was a NY Times reporter and his article appeared in the NY Times. In essence, the Times owns the article. No need to credit Schwarz. (Had that article been from some other publication, attribution would have been necessary.)

    The Schwarz article provided background information that was worthy of inclusion in the new article. Because that information was rewritten, there was no need to attribute it to the original article. If portions of the original article had been quoted, then attribution would have been necessary.

  5. Liz, I am forwarding your comment to Margaret Sullivan, the Times Public Editor. I am not up for checking or evaluating the details at the moment, but it is the type of thing that is in her purview.

  6. You should bring hat to the attention of the Public Editor -- If what you say is true - it's very serious and smacks of plagiarism...

  7. Ok, there will be a test...

    Omalu did not discover CTE.

    Omalu rebranded an almost century old disease, "Dementia pugilistica" found in boxers with what he thought was a more marketable name.

    Omalu was the 1st to find CTE in a football player's brain vs a boxer's brain.

    TIMELINE

    1928 Dementia pugilistica (DP) or "Punch Drunk" was 1st described by a forensic pathologist, Dr. H Martland in boxers.

    2002 Per a 2015 lecture I attended by Omalu, he rebrand DP with a better name & chose CTE already a medical term, Chronic Toxic Encephalopathy.

    Toxic encephalopathy is a degenerative neurologic disorder caused by exposure to "toxic substances" like organic solvents leading to a variety of symptoms, characterized by an altered mental status, memory loss, & visual problems.

    By replacing "Toxic" with "Traumatic" Omalu coined "Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy."

    He also identified CTE for the 1st time in a football player's brain, Mike Webster.

    CONTROVERSY EXISTS

    2014 International Olympic Committee Injury in Sport Conference which I attended had a keynote by Paul McCrory that CTE did not exist as a separate clinical entity but was a spectrum of conditions, & was being hyped into hysteria level by American media. "ZERO TOLERANCE’ AND THE FEAR OF CTE."

    2015 CTE confirmed by independent panel as a unique disease that can be definitively diagnosed. Limitations existed in the study & future research is needed.

    Test: Did Omalu discover CTE?

  8. Sounds like a despicable distortion of the facts. The filmmaker should have his dramatic license revoked.

  9. If this movie is any good, and successful as a result, it will open eyes to the downside of a career in pro football, let alone the dangers of allowing your kids to play at an early age. Since there is a savage streak in our mass culture, a streak that enjoys and elevates various forms of violence through some sports, but especially football at all levels, the news of CTE, repeated concussion trauma and its dangers to both pro and amateur players will not go down easily; in some quarters, it will be treated like appeals for new gun safety laws, that is, "shut up and get lost". Be that as it may, this knowledge, and its affects, are here to stay; the horse has left the barn, i.e., the NFL's "concussion protocol". That's a very, very good thing.

  10. I think the purpose of this story is to create buzz about a political movie I certainly have no intention of seeing.

  11. Political ? How ?

  12. With all due respect, what does "spiritually accurate" really mean? Sounds like a slick way of justifying an untruth to me.

  13. There is a huge tidal wave of C.T.E. players beginning to emerge as players from the 70's and 80's get older. The media should not let up on the powerful NFL to publicize the effects of these debilitating football head injuries. The NFL has not done nearly enough to make the sport less violent and dangerous. Why are the high school coaches, trainers, and referees still not fully informed? Answer: denial, greed and money.

  14. This is a very complex issue in the medical world with many
    unsettled issues related to a cause and it's effects as opposed to associated events. But hey , who cares ? Let's make a movie taking one view point and portray it as fact. There are enough people out there who hate sports in general , and football in particular.

  15. Perhaps it was a complex issue. By now I think it's safe to say the issue is rather simple to understand and analyze.

    Perhaps it was an unsettled issue. It no longer is.

  16. Someone at The New York Times appears to have it in for this movie.

    First the story that Sony was co-opted by the NFL, which the NYT public editor disparaged.

    "[T]he very fact of the story, especially because it appeared on the front page of The New York Times (still a strong statement even in this era of mobile-first journalism), creates the impression that something dastardly took place behind the scenes. I don’t think that was the case. In fact, the internal dialogue and review described in the story, through the emails, isn’t much different from what The Times itself wisely uses in editing big stories that could have legal or other repercussions."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/20/public-editor/sony-concussion-movie-nf...

    Now this

    Maybe we can expect similar hard hitting journalism about the accuracy of the portrayal of characters in The Big Short and Joy in the weeks ahead

  17. I believe than in the future NFL football is a "sport" that will be viewed as akin to bear baiting, cock fighting and bullfighting.

  18. Duerson, like any real human being, deserves an accurate depiction of his life. It seems to me that his personal story would be a better film. His suicide was certainly an act of desperation, but there was also an element of sincere generosity in his final wishes that echoed the generous way he lived while he was healthy. His death and the way he died raised the consciousness of the country to this problem more than any other single event. In the end, I'm sure there is little consolation for his family, but I think he is worthy of admiration.

  19. I started reading the article ready to be horrified at the injustice that Duerson suffered by his portrayal in the movie.

    I finished reading the article not at all convinced that Duerson suffered an injustice.

    One can sympathize with his family's concerns without concluding that Duerson was turned into a complete caricature of himself.

  20. I no longer trust any Hollywood films to tell stories accurately, since learning that critically acclaimed "The Imitation Game" turned Alan Turing's boss into a villain when he was not one, in addition to suggesting that Turing was suspected of spying (he was not) and was closeted (he was not). Movies that are heavily fictionalized should be called historical fiction and should use invented characters rather than tarnishing the legacies of real people. They can't have it both ways—marketing the idea of telling a "true story" while changing facts on a whim to fit a Hollywood template.

  21. “As we were making a feature film and not a documentary, and it’s not a Wikipedia entry, people go to movies not to digest information and data but to have an emotional experience,” Landesman said.

    If that is the case, why use Duerson's name in the film? Why not just make up a player's name and put them in the made-up scene? I think we all know the answer. By using a real person's identity, they lent an air of (false) authenticity to the film. It is a cheap and low trick, but it is also what we have come to expect from Hollywood.

  22. "Spiritually accurate" is like being slightly pregnant. It's accurate or it's not.

  23. “The movie is emotionally and spiritually accurate all the way through.” hmmmm .... the director has a pipeline direct to god (not sure which god) so as to nail down the spiritual accucacy? Or was a ouija board used this time?

  24. This is a challenge when creating a historical story using a mix of actual characters and events commingled with creative license. Sony and Landesman should be pretty clear about "Concussion" being a fictional account to avoid the resultant issues.

  25. I would hope the movie would not smear Duerson. He was in an uncomfortable position, sitting in judgment of other players' disability applications, while beginning to manifest some of the symptoms of CTE himself. His thinking about the disease -- and football's role in it -- must have changed dramatically over time, and I think he was incredibly far-thinking to purposely commit suicide in such a way as to preserve his brain.

  26. "Emotionally and spiritually accurate" is a coward's defense, a statement emotionally and spiritually synonymous with "the ends justifies the means." The director easily could have made Duerson a composite character without affecting the story. Any director with honor would have done so, it's fairly common in such "based on a true story" dramatizations (see Moneyball). But the director wants it both ways, to claim this as an accurate portrayal of events while enjoying the luxury of making up facts to suit his narrative and the story-telling demands of a major motion picture. Agenda-driven movie making is as old as Birth of a Nation and still as distasteful.

    The PBS documentary "League of Denial" told this story better and with more accuracy than "Concussion," which seems designed to get Will Smith the Best Actor Oscar previously denied him for "Ali" and "The Pursuit of Happyness."

  27. The PBS documentary is a documentary. This movie is a movie.

  28. It's great to learn from this director that “Dave Duerson serves a very crucial metaphorical purpose..." but in that case, why does the movie pretend it's depicting him factually and literally?

    Of course, the material is absurdly manipulative, as fiction, if it didn't really happen. Despite the fact that it didn't really happen....

  29. Yes. Landesman continues the tradition of using players for his own purposes.

  30. Yes to JRD -- if the film does not depict the individual accurately, why use his name? Why not make up a name? Unfortunately novelizations and "fact-based" (rather than than accurate) depictions are taken to be true and thus they distort history. There's no remedy for that but the ethical thing to do would be to use made-up names for made-up characters. Shame on those who used Dave Duerson for a "metaphorical purpose." It was unnecessary.

  31. The real irony here is that the players are now fully aware of the dangers of the sport and are, minus the Chris Borland one offs, still playing the game. I admit I'm fully torn on this issue and that rarely happens.

    I love my team, but realize that it is a crippling, blood sport that, realistically, should not be played for our entertainment at any level. If I had a son I would not let him play. However, now the information is out there for the players to decide whether or not to assume the risk.

    The nature of the game will of course change now over time and really already has. The art of tackling has degraded across the league. I think this has more to do with the mentality of concussion avoidance rather than lack of proper technique.

  32. Is CTE new or at least the number of cases of CTE higher because of the change in the way players hit one another?

  33. It should be realized that any film that is not called a documentary is therefore fiction. Many movies (and novels) include real people--Black Mass, Bridge of Spies, Everest, Foxcatcher, The Imitation Game and American Sniper all come to mind as a recent examples. While based on reality, these films are fiction. They are the filmmaker's interpretation of true events, but they do not authentically depict true events. That the movie-going public cannot understand this says more about them than it says about the filmmakers.

  34. Sorry MsPea. Inferring that people are stupid when they object to blatant fabrications that demean another person is, well...

  35. Landesman the director seems to be saying in essence 'we calculated that we could generate higher revenue by amping up the emotionality, and all it cost us was disrespecting some dead guy and his family, and we are comfortable with having done that.' Sad, yet all too typical.

  36. They could have produced a movie that was factually accurate. If that wouldn't work in the producer's mind, then create fictional characters rather than misrepresent a player.

    Another thing: I wish the article would have abbreviated National Football League as NFL, not N.F.L. That's how most of us write the abbreviation. Save the periods for where they are needed! I know I am almost certainly suggesting a practice that violates the New York Times style guide.

  37. My question has always been what are the emotional issues that these players are attempting to address by participating in an activity where being battered and battering are a fundamental aspect. I've even heard the opinion that, because the battering is a fundamental part of the game, it should not be inhibited. Boxers. Hockey players. What feelings are you trying to quell by battering your brain? Or watching other people batter their brains?

  38. The topic is an important one and hopefully the film will open some eyes. The use of Duerson as a villain, however, seems really strange and serves no purpose except to get people upset.

  39. I find it difficult to sympathize with anyone who uses "fiduciary responsibility" as an excuse. It sounds like Martin Shkreli talking. People have, or should have, moral responsibilities that come first, whether your talking about protecting individuals or the entire planet.

  40. Young healthy men continually getting whacked on the head? Not rocket science. Just look at how off the deep end some of them go. I always thought O.J had too many head injuries.

  41. There can be no "irony" unless there is an honest presentation of the facts leading up to his death. If there is an irony, it is that the film makers seem to have done to Duerson -- ignored the facts -- which is just what they claim he did in his alleged disregard for the the struggles of other football players asking for help for similar problems.
    As for his death, it was not ironic.
    It was tragic, and possibly even heroic, given how he willed his brain to science and then shot himself in the chest to protect his "gift".

  42. Landesman, the film's director, gives the standard, cliched response when addressing the outrageous licenses movie makers take in 'exaggerating' a true life story to, in his words, give the film's audience not 'information' but an 'emotional experience.' In other words, they lie about stuff because they believe the factual truth is not 'sexy' enough. I won't waste my time watching a film who's creator thinks so little of his own audiences intelligence.

  43. To be noted: CTE and Alzheimer's are not the same thing.

    A simple Google search of "CTE and Alzheimer's" produces some good sources of information. Here's one easily digested tidbit:

    What’s the difference between CTE and Alzheimer’s disease (AD)?
    Although there are some similarities between CTE and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), significant differences exist. The symptoms of CTE generally present earlier (in one’s 40s) than those of AD (in one’s 60s). The initial and most central symptoms in AD involve memory problems, while the first symptoms of CTE generally involve problems with judgment, reasoning, problem solving, impulse control, and aggression. In addition, these diseases are found to be different in postmortem neuropathological findings.
    http://www.bu.edu/cte/about/frequently-asked-questions/

  44. 'the director said, “Concussion” was “spiritually accurate”' ?

    Surprised he didn't (mis)quote Descarte: "I feel it, therefore I am accurate"!

    This director sounds less like an honest artist and more like a flak-catcher for a disingenuous politico or PR spinner for a Big Oil company. He seems to have missed his real calling! George Orwell would be so (not) proud!

  45. If the Duerson character in the movie is inaccurate, why didn't the movie makers give him a fictitious name? Actually, if the movie is not a documentary, then all of the names should have been changed. I don't know the truth about Dave Duerson, but I think it's wrong to distort or play with a man's legacy in order to rake in money at the box office.

  46. As a Chicago Bears fan during the era that Dave Duerson played, my positive opinion of him would not change by watching a movie after following his career closely in Chicago day in and day out. I thought his suicide was tragic but his decision to leave his brain intact for research was one of the most selfless things I'd ever heard. I understand his family's concerns with the movie. What his son has to remember is that Mr. Duerson's fans' opinions will not change with the movie. If the movie causes a more public dialogue to this issue, then I'd consider it a success.

  47. But people like me, who don't know anything about Mr. Duerson beyond how he died will form opinions based on what they see in the movie. Some may come home and do some research, but most won't. The idea that the audience won't form an opinion about a person based solely on what they see in a movie is terribly incorrect.

  48. Are you really serious in saying that you are going to form your opinion about the life and character of the real Dave Duerson based upon how he is portrayed in a film that is historical fiction?

  49. Never the let facts interfere with a good story.

  50. Seriously: they used his real name?

  51. Another biopic based on a superior documentary. So many of these out. The studio heads are the most cowardly group of businesspeople out there. An "original" screenplay?? What's that? We better let the French make it first and see if its worthy of a true American re-make.

  52. Seems to me that this problem is not beyond a relatively simple (well, conceptually, that is) fix. The emphasis needs to change from "hitting" to "tackling properly in accordance with the rules". And doffing the helmets would also help. The league is wealthy enough to send out educational materials (videos, etc.) to high schools and colleges around the country.

  53. Hollywood, once again, reaches deep into immorality to sell tickets to undiscriminating moviegoers. The anger will subside. It always does. And Hollywood will continue to do as it pleases in pursuit of drawing moviegoers and streaming viewers. Who needs facts when there's so much cash to grab?

  54. At least Hollywood's disrespect of facts wasn't killing people. The same can't be said for the NFL, whose disrespect and cover-up over the reality of head trauma was the cause of unnecessary injuries and deaths. Who needs facts when there's so much cash to grab?

  55. Come now you really think that people did not know that football was somewhat dangerous? Really???

  56. It's inexcusable that Duerson can be represented this way. They claim it's alright to slander his memory because they didn't make a documentary and aren't writing a Wikipedia entry? Shameful!

  57. “The movie is emotionally and spiritually accurate all the way through.”
    ========================================================
    This is a ridiculous statement. Who can say what "emotionally and spiritually accurate" means? Its in the eye of the beholder. We have seen this lie used to twist the truth in Oliver Stone movies, and most recently in the movie Selma.

  58. If this is the worst that Duerson's family can come up with, they have no case. There are lots of "seems to suggest" in their complaints, but no factual errors. It looks to me like the facts "seem to suggest" these things about Duerson. The truth isn't slander.


  59. The Duerson family has grounds for a lawsuit, although it may be a tough fight because the movie is just a somewhat inaccurate dramatization of what happened to Dave Duerson along with several other players as well. As the movie's director said, they were attempting to make a film with emotional impact about the effects of repeated head trauma in football. I agree with some of the commenters here that perhaps they should used fictional names for some of the characters rather than names of real people. In the end, what usually happens in these cases is that an undisclosed sum of money gets exchanged. Perhaps, the Duerson family could use it to set up a memorial to Dave, or for funding for more research into Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (C.T.E.). Also, a message could be placed at the end of the movie, saying that not everybody agrees with the portrayal of certain events in the movie and how they happened. Not perfect, but better than nothing.

  60. They only have grounds for a lawsuit that would be unwinnable. They are not the first, nor will they be the last to take offense to how a deceased loved is portrayed in a "based-upon-true-events" or "based-upon-a-true-story" film. The record shows that, after his playing career ended, Dave Duerson's behavior in the NFL's growing CTE problem was sometimes self-contradictory. That gave the writers of the screenplay enough to work with.


  61. Charles in Philadelphia, PA: I agree, but it might give the family some satisfaction. Mr. Duerson's life was an interesting study in success, failure, attitudes and problems. But, the film makers could have created a composite character, or renamed him.

  62. Movie makers can do anything they wished and they did. Good for the family to point out its fiction but movie goers should know that themselves.

  63. "'Dave Duerson serves a very crucial metaphorical purpose .... a man who sits there in judgement of other players when they deserve disability payments,' Landesman said."

    This is the problem with the fictionalized biopic. Dave Duerson was not a metaphor. If Landesman is going to use his name, is life, especially without his permission, he cannot pretend he is a metaphor. If you want a metaphor, create a character to represent it.

    All of us understand that movies are not history. But, as in the Steve Jobs film, using real people's stories means you have a responsibility to the real person who lived them. It is one thing to have Abe Lincoln walk through your film and you create some lines for him; it is another to take a contemporary person, and create some lines for him to make him the metaphor for corporate villainy, unless he was in real life, the personification of corporate villainy.

    Landesman's excuses are hollow. Landesman was lazy.

  64. hmmm. I'm sure Dave Duerson was a great person and football player. But the fact that he gave testimony about the specious relationship between Alzhemier's and Pro Football, AND the fact that he died because of the very thing he denied... It's a story that should be told.

    Everyone knows it's not a documentary.

  65. So it depends on how long one is dead to make up lines or a story about somebody? As if there always aren't relatives down the road. The problem here is people that don't realize that movies are entertainment unless sold as a documentary.

  66. “'As we were making a feature film and not a documentary, and it’s not a Wikipedia entry, people go to movies not to digest information and data but to have an emotional experience,' Landesman said. 'The movie is emotionally and spiritually accurate all the way through.'"

    Specious:

    apparently good or right though lacking real merit; superficially pleasing or plausible...

  67. Stupid sport. I have friends whose sons play the game (I am from Ohio and Football is King) and have had repeated concussions and they actually LAUGH and BRAG about it. They post it on facebook. Their sons are soooo tough. These mothers are idiots. They are the types who will poo-poo the movie and come up with random reasons why people should not see it. They want their super-star sons to go to The Ohio State University. Please watch the Frontline story AND go see the movie. Talk about THAT on facebook. I am a middle school math teacher and I have students who have had concussions and have seen the math ability plummet. This year I had identical twin boys and the one with the strong math skills got a concussion during a game and his ability went way below his brother's. He also became very difficult to work with-- really nasty to people around him.

  68. No One in the NFL administrative offices wanted the subject covered by "Concussion" to ever see the light of day. They are not about to help a project like this get the facts right.

    Hollywood films are not documentaries unless they are billed as such. They are entertainment devices that frame sometimes difficult topics in a two hour sitting. Dave Duerson was a terrific player and his early death is a tragedy. Maybe casting a character loosely based on him will do a lot of good if it moves this discussion into further action and saves others from this fate. If it does, do you think he would really mind being cast as a Hollywood heavy?

  69. Anyone who believes anything purported to be "fact" or "factoid" from a Hollywood docudrama, biopic, or "historical drama" should quickly have their head examined!

  70. Easy for you to say. Not so easy for family of Dave Duerson is it? I sympathize for them. Taking poetic license that casts real people in a bad or less favorable than reality is a grave disservice at best and fraud at worst.

  71. My point, exactly.

  72. If you want to depict a scene that isn't real, never occurred and is inserted for emotional experiences, then do it with a fictional character

  73. Bill
    You are so correct. To harm this family by what most will take as factual, but is in reality fictional, is disgusting.

  74. This film marginalizes an important issue by turning reality into a "story" with a big name Hollywood star (and scientologist) as the "protagonist".
    The real protagonists should be the American public, versus the NFL, who has fought tooth and nail to try to avoid this subject, but they cannot.
    The prpaganda that football is not a very dangerous sport must be confronted with more than a cynically self-righteous film. One could argue the film defuses the seriousness of the subject by cloaking it in a Big Movie disguise. The NFL has NOT taken any substantive action to prevent player CTE. Alternate and more protective helmet designs have been available, but the NFL refuses to test them if they don't have some sort of IP payment.

  75. Every time at contract time, the players union can push anything they wish including safety standards. Management wants no games not played and would bend over backwards to accommodate the players to make sure ther eis a season. one only needs to remember the NHL Players Union fighting the use of headgear. Even today they fight they fight any ban on fighting which causes injuries.

  76. Did they not say that they edited the film prior to release so as not to cause harm to the NFL...for legal reasons I assume. The victims are the victims

  77. Is it possible that his father really did do and say some of the things that the movie portrays and he and his family are just in denial? Not saying that IS what happened, but is it possible?

  78. Sorry but that question is a lose lose for a man who isn't here to defend himself from charges of racism. Anything is possible....putting words like that in someone's mouth is appalling when there is no proof he said it!

  79. Well Gee anybody who did not understand that football is somewhat dangerous is foolish. Perhaps it can be made safer, but all sports contain risk of injury. Just as every action has some risk. This movie is basically worthless, not entertaining and not educational either.

  80. If you've ever seen an incident first hand, then read about it in a newspaper, you'd wonder how they got so much wrong.
    . . . and this is Hollywood.

  81. Every time I have had first hand knowledge of some news event, the media has always gotten multiple things seriously wrong.

  82. This is the more important story behind the movie - which I missed when it was first published. Is the NYT also intimidated by the NFL and our nation's obsession with the sport? Fans and media have a different moral responsibility than the league or the press. But even with their power, it will always be the demanders who determine the supply. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/02/sports/football/makers-of-sonys-concus...®ion=Marginalia&pgtype=article

  83. As always, Hollywood one-percenters promote their films as factually accurate to lure ticket buyers, then, when confronted with their many blatant and easily avoidable lies, backtrack to puffery about their films "not pretending to be a documentary" or being "spiritually accurate."

    In their spare time, they accuse government officials facing far more complex and difficult decisions and film critics clearly expressing personal opinions of being deliberate liars.

  84. The director, Peter Landesman, defends his work by saying, “The movie is emotionally and spiritually accurate all the way through.” Mr. Landesman doesn't understand accuracy at all.

  85. Agreed. When something is accurate, I is correct on the facts. Apparently Mr. Landesman thinks accurate means "truthiness" if feels right to him so it must be true! Stephen Colbert would be proud!

  86. Of course, football fans, complain about the movie and ignore the real issue of the NFL and its complicity in the longterm health of the players. Exactly what the NFL wants - to divert you from questioning your complicity in the damage done to these athletes while enriching the NFL as you pay for tickets and cable tv packages, player jerseys, etc..

  87. You seem to forget the biggest part of the NFL is the players themselves. Its not like they don't have a strong union that could have addressed possible concussion damage anytime they wished. Sure there was a time when players might not have known, but those going through it certainly could have caught on along with their families should have picked up on it, Why no out cry? They are in it for the money as much as management is. Any individual could have spoken up anytime they wished. Any NFL-Union contract could have include some safe guards that the players wished to push. If players themselves didn't want to push an issue that effected them directly why would you think management would? Safety features in mining come from management or the United Mining Workers of America pushing for them?

  88. All the more reason to make it accurate.

  89. Ironic that Landesman justifies providing misinformation while excoriating the NFL for doing the same. Also ironic in that it would have been simple enough to use fictional secondary characters. And finally, while I haven't seen the movie and don't intend to, I can't help wondering about the film's merit as art and entertainment; idealization and demonization are usually hallmarks or poor story-telling built on one-dimensional characters. And lastly, I'd like to know who in fact first diagnosed CTE, since they appear to have been written out of existence.

  90. Welcome to the movies, which are just another form of entertainment even though they sometimes claim a higher calling. This is presumably just one of 1000s of movies which implicitly claims historical accuracy while later disclaiming that goal when called upon to deal with inaccuracies relative to actual history. None of the "victims" of these movies have any recourse even though they understand that in today's Twitter world people actually do believe what they see on TV, in the movies and on the Internet.

  91. When you make a movie based on real life and use the names of actual people you have an obligation to portray them accurately and to not make stuff up about them for dramatic purposes. Hollywood keeps doing it, but they're just wrong. The Duerson family is right. People will remember the fictitious Dave Duerson from this movie instead of the actual Dave Duerson. It's just not right. I don't know what these people mean when they say they stand behind their movie. What are they supporting, historical distortion?

  92. Please, movies have always used actual people's names though the movie may be totally fiction. People believing movies are real are the ones with the issues not those knowing they are fiction. As if all the conversations in "Patton" or the "Babe Ruth Story" actually happened. Both are as much fiction as Stars Wars" "Ben Hur" using the names of many people that actually lived is a made up story. General Sherman is used in both the book and the movie of Gone With The Wind are fiction.

  93. I read that the NFL forced the toning-down of "Concussion"'s anti football evidence.

  94. If one is doing a "fact based" movie about any issue but particularly one that is as high profile as the confusion is at the NFL and the alleged under current of racism, one should, in fact, be fact based. Claiming after the fact that the movies is not a Widkapedia entry is a thin excuse and really a cop out.

    Movies aren't supposed to rewrite history but apparently this one is doing what it can to do so. To bad.

  95. My orthopedist told me there will never be a helmet capable of preventing concussions, which often lead to the dreaded CTE syndrome because of the violent impact of helmet-to-helmet collisions. Furthermore, there is no technology that will ever prevent devastating spinal injuries from football collisions. I was happy to read that over half of current NFL players prohibit their sons from playing football. I hope the film "Concussion" starts the beginning of the end of the sport of football. There are so many other options than playing a sport that has proven to cause devastation.

  96. The director's comments are heartless. I would translate them thus, "We need to make the audience feel something and if we have to completely make stuff up about a real person that does them real harm we'll do it."

  97. I'm glad that the movie stood by how they portrayed Dave Duerson.

    As a Chicago native who researched Dave Duerson and his life story after his death, I often felt his involvement with deciding disability benefits was unknown to the general public bc of his his near mythological status in Chicago.

    Truth is not a smear. Duerson betrayed the very player he himself eventually became. Anything less than the truth would betray why the film was made.

  98. This is why I am generally done with going to the movies.