The newest sports film set to hit theaters is a different kind of underdog story.
In Concussion, Will Smith stars as Dr. Bennet Omalu, the Nigerian-born neuropathologist who discovered Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive, degenerative brain disease linked to repeated brain trauma—and a discovery continues to provoke serious concern over the safety of football.
Equal parts Erin Brockovich and Rudy, Concussion portrays Omalu’s struggle to convince the National Football League to confront—and then try to quash—his findings about the medical and psychological risk of CTE, even as high-profile players publicly struggled with eroding mental health.
And as with Omalu’s real-life findings, the movie has generated concern for top brass at The Shield. “NFL owners are apparently taking the movie seriously enough that they spent a significant amount of time in May plotting a response to the film, NBC Sports reports.
Our favorite snippets:
“You’re going to war with a corporation that owns a day of the week.”
“The NFL does not want to talk to you. You turned on the lights and gave their biggest bogeyman a name.”
“Sometimes in life you’re asked to leave it alone, but sometimes you can’t.”
Concussion is set to hit theaters on Dec. 25 — just as the NFL playoffs are set to begin.