What is a concussion? It is an injury to the brain resulting from an impact to the head. This brain damage happened to many professional American football players.
Dr. Bennet Omalu was a Neuropathologist in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, USA. An American football player suddenly died. Dr. Omalu did the autopsy. He decided that the player died as a result of severe brain damage caused by repeated blows to the head while playing football. Dr. Omalu called it Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
Dr.Omalu published a paper on his findings but the NFL (National Football League) would not accept that. NFL is a powerful organization. Finally, he persuaded the NFL Commissioner to allow him to give a presentation on the subject. However, he was not allowed to do the presentation. His colleague had to give the presentation.
Dr. Omalu was subjected to lot of pressures in his efforts. But, he stood up to the powerful and the mighty for his cause. Meantime, the NFL Players Association agreed with him. Finally the NFL was forced to take concussion issue more seriously.
He is now the Chief Medical Examiner for the San Joaquin County (District) in California. His struggle was made into a movie titled “Concussion” in 2015, starring Will Smith (as Dr. Omalu) and Alec Baldwin.
I did not know all these details until the movie came out. Two years ago, we met Dr. Bennet Omalu and his wife Prema in a get together at a friend’s home. Bennet and Prema are very nice couple. We (me and my wife) like them.
They are from Nigeria. We were curious. Asked the wife the reason for the Indian name Prema. She said her great grand mother was from Salem, Tamil Nadu. She said she is named after her.