The NFL concussion problem is about to get the Hollywood treatment.
Smith would play the role of Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic neuropathologist who is credited with making the first discovery of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in an NFL player. Omalu, whose story was chronicled in “Game Brain,” made his discovery while doing an autopsy on the brain of Hall of Fame Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Mike Webster, who died at the age of 50.
The 45-year-old actor has ventured into the world of sports before, having starred as Muhammad Ali in the 2001 biopic “Ali” and played a mysterious golf caddy in the 2000 film “The Legend of Bagger Vance.”
Smith’s latest foray into athletics will take on a much more serious tone, though, as concussions have emerged as a hot-button issue in the NFL over the last few years. Last August, the NFL and more than 4,500 former players agreed on a $765 million settlement that would help provide treatment for those still suffering concussion symptoms. Yet a federal judge struck down the settlement in January, causing a rash of former players to sue the league seeking damages.
Smith’s concussion drama is not the only project that could tackle the issue, as a movie based on the recent book “League Of Denial: The NFL, Concussions And The Battle For Truth” also is in the works, according to Variety.
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