Dave Duerson’s family believes his portrayal in the upcoming film Concussion villainizes the former NFL player and inaccurately portrays scenes of his life, reports The New York Times’ Ken Belson.
In the film, Duerson’s character has a crass encounter with pathologist Bennet Omalu, played by Will Smith, who set out to share his findings about chronic traumatic encephalopathy and the dangers of football. He prevents Omalu’s character from having access to a medical conference, says he is “a quack” and tells him to return to Africa and “get away from our game.”
The family says the scene is one of two that misrepresents Duerson.
The family also objected to a scene implying that the death of former NFL player Andre Waters could have been prevented by Duerson.
“They completely made up stuff,” Duerson’s son Tregg told The New York Times. “They needed a villain, someone to take the fall, and he’s not here to defend himself.”
Duerson, who was a star defensive back for the Chicago Bears, committed suicide in 2011. It was later discovered that he had CTE.
Concussion will be released in theaters on Dec. 25.