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MEDICAL: CONDITIONS: CONCUSSIONS :

SPORTS: INJURIES :

SPORTS: FOOTBALL: PROFESSIONAL :

ENTERTAINMENT: MOTION PICTURES AND MOVIES :

ORGANIZATIONS: NAMED ORGANIZATIONS: NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE (NFL):

Why Will Smith’s ‘Concussion’ May Actually Impact The NFL

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Why Will Smith’s ‘Concussion’ May Actually Impact The NFL

Scott Mendelson

December 24, 2015 @ 11:01 AM

Forbes

http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2015/12/24/ why-will-smiths-concussion-may-actually-make-a-difference/

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/pkrmssf

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Sony announced yesterday that it will be offering free admission for all NFL players to see their upcoming Will Smith drama Concussion. The film, which opens tomorrow in wide release, is about the doctor who first discovered a link between playing football and long-term brain damage.

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It is a comparatively small issue movie and one where would-be action can be taken through explicit inaction. The film deals with an issue that has no party line and can be clearly and rationally explained be through the film itself or the copious articles that have been written about the subject. Even if the film doesnt become a box office hit and/or doesnt make much of an impact at the Oscars (which it probably wont), every bit of media coverage surrounding the film spreads awareness of its rather simple issue.

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snip

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That incendiary anti-Sea World documentary was released by Magnolia in the summer of 2013 where it made a whole $2 million at the domestic box office. But the media covered the film to a disproportionate degree and said articles conveniently listed the worst charges and would-be offenses discussed in the documentary in question. If people read about the movie or saw the movie, all they had to do to do something was not go to Sea World.

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And two years later, SeaWorlds profits have plunged 84%, the park has made major changes to its animal shows and to how it procures and treats said animals. The very brand of Sea World has become something of a pariah, to the point where Walt Disney and Pixars Finding Dory made a point to note that they were changing the ending of said sequel so that it no longer involved a Sea World type establishment. So it was not the documentary itself that changed hearts-and-minds, but rather the media coverage of the documentary which reached a broader audience than the original text and provided something of a cheat sheet in regards to the specific outrages which required inaction.

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Yes, I did type inaction. Its easier for people to take a firm stand when all they have to do is not do something. So it is with Concussion, a film which deals with the serious and life-threatening dangers of playing football. It is presumably an issue with no partisan divide beyond agree or disagree. The film hopes to make money and win acclaim, but its secondary (if not primary) purpose is to spread awareness of its specific issue on a national stage. And every article, news report, or related quasi-marketing for the film furthers that mission.

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If Concussion has an impact, or plays a part in said impact either in making the NFL less popular or (heaven forbid) moving the organization towards improving the safety of their current players, it will be as much through media coverage of the film as it will be through the film itself. Call it the Facebook Effect or what-have-you. But Concussion may actually make a difference because it doesnt require government action or even civilian action. All civilians have to do to voice their opposition is to not watch football and not play football.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
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jwne@temple.edu
http://workface.com/e/daviddillard

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