SUBJECTS — U.S. 1991 – Current; Medicine; Sports; Diversity/African-American;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Courage;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Trustworthiness; Responsibility; Citizenship.
AGE: 13+; MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic material including some disturbing images, and language;
Drama; 2015, 2 hours, 3 minutes; Color. Available from Amazon.com.
HAVE STUDENTS READ THE BOOK! Books tell more complete stories than two-hour movies. Concussion, same name as the film, reads like a novel. Based on thousands of hours of interviews with Dr. Omalu, his family, friends, associates, and others, the book delves deeply into Dr. Omalu’s childhood in Nigeria, his battle with chronic depression, his emigration to the U.S., his discovery of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), the league’s efforts to develop pseudo-science disputing the growing evidence that retired NFL players had high rates of early onset dementia, the NFL’s campaign to discredit Dr. Omalu, and much more. Written by Jeanne Marie Laskas, the journalist who broke Dr. Omalu’s story in a 2009 magazine article, Concussion, the book, is accessible to tenth-grade-level readers and above. The book is interesting if read before the movie, in which case the film can be a treat to reward the class for the effort of reading the book, or after the movie when students will be interested in reading about the characters they saw on the screen.