Dr. Bennet Omalu says football can't be made safer, likens children playing the sport to abuse
The doctor credited with discovering chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) likens children playing football to abuse and says there is nothing anyone can do to make the game safer.
Dr. Bennet Omalu, whose life was dramatized in the movie "Concussion" starring Will Smith, says the recent study from Boston confirms what can happen with repeated blows to the head.
The study published in the The Journal of the American Medical Association found that 110 of 111 former NFL players who had their brains donated for examination suffered from CTE.
Omalu, whose memoir “Truth Doesn’t Have a Side” will be released on Tuesday, also believes no person under 18 should be playing football.
“Someday there will be a district attorney who will prosecute for child abuse [on the football field], and it will succeed,” Omalu said during a New York Press Club talk. “It is the definition of child abuse.”
“If you play football, and if your child plays football, there is a 100 percent risk exposure. There is nothing like making football safer. That’s a misnomer.”
The National Football League was sued by more than 4,000 players who claimed the league hid known concussion risks, leading to high rates of dementia, depression and even suicides.
“There is nothing the league can do. The league is a corporation,” Omalu said. “What do corporations do? Make money. They’re not there to provide health care or perform research. That is not what they’re there to do. They’re selling product.
“If they feel the need to make any changes, they’re making calculated changes that will enhance their bottom line.”