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Headscratchers / Concussion

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Why would people who make money off football players not want to protect them?
  • I know this is Based on a True Story, and that some artistic license is always taken with real events, but the parts about the NFL trying to suppress the research are true, whether or not the tactics used are portrayed completely accurately. Why? What is the logic behind that? What was their motive? Even if you're motivated purely by greed, if you make money off football players, it's in your best interest to protect them. How does letting something kill their players and doing their best to make sure no one stops it from killing their players benefit the NFL?
    • This is addressed in the movie. If word gets out that football could kill you, that means less and less people will want to play (or in the movie's example, will let their sons play) the game. That means in a manner of time there will be less players which is how the the NFL makes their money (and by extension how many cities make money and how many charities make money). The NFL knows that addressing the problem means having to admit there is one which leads to the problem they are trying to avoid. It's simpler and more profitable to discredit Omalu and sweep this problem under the rug.
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    • Lawsuits were also a concern.
    • It's also something that won't necessarily affect the players while they're still playing; many, if not most, football players (such as Webster and Duerson) would probably have a long, relatively problem-free career and be into their retirement (i.e. no longer actively making money for the NFL) before they started experiencing serious problems. It could be that whoever made the decision to cover up the health issues figured they could get everything they needed out of the players well before the mental issues cropped up.
    • A lot of the problem was that they simply didn't believe Dr. Omalu's findings. Crash Trauma Encephalopathy is a very rare problem, even in football players, and can only be diagnosed post-mortem from the brain tissue. Since most football players don't show noticeable symptoms, the prevailing wisdom was that only severe injuries to the head caused significant damage. Dr. Omalu, in challenging that view, had to fight against years of habit in people's thoughts.
Why would the government offer Omalu a job?
  • It seems implausible that the Federal Government would want a person like the protagonist in their group. He is portrayed as having little tolerance for secrecy and doesn't seem like a team player, which would be very problematic for an intelligence agency.
    • He's good at what he does and they sent the FBI after him, so, an apology. Also, giving him something to do besides expose more of the dirt associated with one of their lobbying cash cows. Doesn't seem like the smartest choice on their part when spelled out that way, admittedly.
    • Government scientists have to run their findings by their superiors. By giving him a job, the government would be able to exercise a degree of control over him.