'League of Denial' to be adapted into movie

Former Steeler great Mike Webster was highlighted in both the book and the PBS documentary. (USATSI)

League of Denial, a book by ESPN’s Fainaru brothers that exposed the NFL’s formerly apparent apathy to the effects of head injuries and brain trauma, will be adapted into a movie. 

The book – and subsequent PBS documentary – assuredly caused much consternation within the NFL offices, and now the story will be re-told in a movie format. Parkes and MacDonald won an auction for the screen rights, as first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

As the report read:

“Parkes and MacDonald will begin meeting with writers and filmmakers, unsure exactly whether this is best served as a feature of a pay cable effort.”

The upcoming movie is certainly in the same vein as Ridley Scott’s planned drama about concussions in pro football.

The two-hour LOD documentary shed an uncomfortable light how for years the NFL denied medical research in lieu of its own self-preserving interest. Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian-born doctor, discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy in the brain of former Steelers great Mike Webster, and Omalu’s work led him to believe that repeated collisions ultimately caused significant instability in Webster following his playing days and prior to his death at age 50. CTE was also found in the brains of Junior Seau and Dave Duerson, both of whom committed suicide.

Needless to say, the concussion crisis isn’t going away despite the NFL’s $765 million dollar settlement with thousands of former players.

Given that player safety is as hot-button an issue as anything currently in the sporting landscape, the NFL fan should certainly welcome the ongoing dialogue. 

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