American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"Concussion" (2015)


Dr. Omalu Meets with Dr. Maroon to Propose a Scientific Study of CTE


Dr. Joseph Maroon: Your conclusions totally misrepresent the facts. To say that Webster and Long and Waters were killed by football is just --

Dr. Bennet Omalu: Is fallacious reasoning. Yes, I know.

Dr. Joseph Maroon: [to Dr. Bailes] Where's he going with this?

Dr. Julian Bailes: Just hear him out.

Dr. Bennet Omalu: I would like to propose a formal, controlled study of former and -- and current NFL football players. We will bring together the greatest minds in America to -- to solve the problem. We should be working together.

Dr. Joseph Maroon: Who do you think you're talking to?

Dr. Bennet Omalu: Excuse me?

Dr. Joseph Maroon: I was the President of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Dr. Bennet Omalu: And I was the man who performed the autopsies on Mike Webster, Terry Long. Your men. Men under your care. Do you know what Mike Webster's wife said? She said that if she had known that Mike was sick, she would have done more for him. But he died in disgrace.

Your man.

Your man.

You took an oath.

Tell the truth.

Dr. Joseph Maroon: The truth?

Dr. Bennet Omalu: Tell the truth.

Dr. Joseph Maroon: The truth is that the NFL is a blessing and a salvation, my friend. We employ hundreds of thousands of people. We send thousands and thousands of poor kids to schools. The ownership of this football club has donated millions of dollars to countless charities. Do you want me to go on?

Dr. Bennet Omalu: That won't be necessary.

Dr. Joseph Maroon: Oh, it is necessary. Football is the most popular sport in America because it is so goddamn fantastic. And that, right there? [directing his gaze to a window's view of Heinz Field] That is the beating heart of this city. And you want to, what, end it? You want to fold up the National Football League?

Dr. Bennet Omalu: I want to solve the problem.

Dr. Joseph Maroon: Who are you?

Dr. Bennet Omalu: What are you asking?

Dr. Joseph Maroon: You're -- You're a pathologist. You -- You perform autopsies.

Dr. Bennet Omalu: Yes, I am a mere pathologist. That's it. That's all I am.

Dr. Joseph Maroon: Wow. Do you have any idea of the impact of what you're doing?

Dr. Bennet Omalu: Yes, I do.

Dr. Joseph Maroon: Do you understand the impact of what you are doing? If just 10% of the mothers in America decide that football is too dangerous for their sons to play, that is it. It is the end of football. Kids, colleges, and eventually, it's just a matter of time, the professional game.

Dr. Julian Bailes: Joe, he does autopsies. He's not in the outcome business.

Dr. Joseph Maroon: He has no business.

Dr. Bennet Omalu: Do you know what history does to people, trained physicians, who ignore science?

Dr. Joseph Maroon: Oh, wow.

Dr. Bennet Omalu: Sir! I am not done! History laughs. If you continue to deny my work, the world will deny my work. But men, your men, continue to die, their families left in ruins.

Tell the truth.

Tell the truth.

Dr. Joseph Maroon: You sure -- You sure you want to do this?

Dr. Bennet Omalu: I would ask you that same question, Dr. Maroon.

Credit Note: Delivered by Will Smith, Arliss Howard, and Alex Baldwin

See also: Wikipedia entry on Dr. Bennet Omalu

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American Rhetoric.
HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.