ConcussionBook - 2015
The unlikely story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, the pathologist who made one of the most significant medical discoveries of the twenty-first century, a discovery that challenges the existence of America's favorite sport and puts him in the crosshairs of football's most powerful corporation: the NFL.
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While this is not a book about football, I have to admit that I love football and the involvement of the NFL is certainly something that interested me about this story. What I quickly discovered is that I became much more interested in Dr. Omalu's journey from Nigeria to the United States, his subsequent experience with racism (a previously foreign concept) in America, and the way in which these experiences would influence and drive his research and contribution to the medical community.
The author spent a considerable amount of time with Dr. Omalu and his family and she paints a delicate, yet soberingly truthful, picture of Omalu's background; this is the information that really sets the stage for his ultimate struggle to be heard by his peers and break through the corrupt politics of corporate giants. While I do agree with some critics that this is not the whole story and that much of this material was covered in League of Denial, I do think that it is Dr. Omalu's story and that it has merit; there are definitely some unanswered questions, as there should be, and I think that adequately reflects Omalu's personal experience in all of this.
I can honestly say that I'll never watch football the same again (or boxing, either, for that matter); I also listen to Roger Goodell's (Commissioner of the NFL) little speeches on what the league is doing to assist in concussion prevention and research with a higher-than-healthy dose of skepticism after reading this book. I did not have this same reaction after reading sections of League of Denial; I felt much more invested in this story, which is why I think it is such a great read for even those who have no interest in the sports side of this investigation.
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