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Hollywood Tackles Brain Injuries Head-On

Sept. 07, 2015
Sept. 07, 2015

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Sept. 7, 2015

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Hollywood Tackles Brain Injuries Head-On

An ex--NFL star dealing with cognitive impairment weighs in on an upcoming film

IN 2013 FORMER Giants defensive end Leonard Marshall was diagnosed with cognitive impairment believed to be the result of his years playing football. On Christmas Day, Concussion, starring Will Smith, opens in theaters nationwide, telling the story of pathologist Bennet Omalu, who discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a disorder associated with dementia, during an autopsy of ex-Steeler Mike Webster. The 53-year-old Marshall, who is part of a class-action lawsuit against the league and runs a charity called Brain Unity Trust, spoke to SI about the movie, his health and football's future.

This is an article from the Sept. 7, 2015 issue

What do you think the impact of this film will be?

It can bring information to others who may not know what's going on. It should be a really important movie that hopefully reaches a lot of people.

You've been quite open about your neurological issues. What is your daily struggle like?

I see the doctors as often as I can. I take the proper medications. I continue to exercise. The main thing is learning how to deal with stress and get your rest. You just always have to watch what you do and how you do it.

What will happen if a better job is not done educating players?

Guys will lose interest in playing this sport. Think about kids between 6'3" and 6'7". They're playing basketball instead of tight end or adding 60 pounds to play defensive end. If football is the sport it's supposed to be, some of them would be playing it instead of going to the NBA.

THEY SAID IT

"It doesn't end until it ends."

Junji Hidaka

Coach of Japan's Kitasuna Little League team on the advice he gave his players after they fell behind 10--2 to Lewisberry, Pa., in the first inning of Sunday's LLWS title game. Japan came back to win 18--11.

SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly paying $30,000 for a life-sized wax figure of himself. There's one in a Madrid museum; the new one is for his home.

GO FIGURE

9

Days between games in which the Dodgers were no-hit: The Cubs' Jake Arrieta did it on Sunday, and Houston's Mike Fiers did so on Aug. 21. It's the fourth-shortest gap between no-nos for one team.

2

Holes in one by Brian Harman in the final round of The Barclays, making him the third PGA player ever with two aces in one round.

PHOTOANDY HAYT FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (MARSHALL)PHOTOCOURTESY SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT (POSTER)PHOTOFOTONOTICIAS/GETTY IMAGES (RONALDO)PHOTOMATT SLOCUM/AP (TSI)