In the film League of Denial, it goes through the events of the discovery of CTE and how the NFL reacted to its discovery. Dr. Bennet Omalu first saw this disease in long time Pittsburgh Stealer, Mike Webster. After the discovery the NFL denied a connection and shunned Dr. Omalu and his work. Later a group of doctors from Boston University discovered the same disease in other former NFL players. It was not until new NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, did the NFL start to consider the game having a long-lasting effect on players health.
It was interesting to see the NFL continue denying the risks of the sport after so many brains were examined. I believe at one point it was 10 of the 11 brains examined had CTE. Though admittedly that is a small sample size, that really seems like a bad look for the NFL. By the end of the film in 2013 the doctors had examined I believe 57 brains of former NFL player, 56 had CTE. By 2013 the league was more open to the fact that there could be problems with taking repeated hits to the head though.
I think my biggest surprise was the NFL’s shunning of Dr. Omalu’s work after other doctors confirmed seeing the same thing. At first, I understand them not wanting this information out, but then even when other doctors working with the NFL confirmed Dr. Omalu’s work they continued to shun him. When he got the go ahead from Junior Seau’s son to examine his brain after death, only to have the league call the son and tell him that Omalu’s work was not trustworthy. That is shocking that they would continue to lock him out of that work long after others say the same thing he had.