Frontline (1983– )
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League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis 

An investigation of the health crisis threatening NFL players and the long-term fortunes of football.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Himself - Narrator (voice)
Himself - Author, Captain For Life
Steve Fainaru ...
Himself - Reporter
Beth Wilkinson ...
Herself - NFL's attorney (archive footage)
Mickey Collins ...
Himself - University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (as Dr. Mickey Collins)
Himself - Medical Examiner
Ann McKee ...
Herself - Neuropathologist, BU CTE Center (as Ann McKee MD)
Stan Savran ...
Himself - Pittsburgh Sports Reporter
Julian Bailes ...
Himself - Team Physician, Steelers, 1988-97 (as Julian Bailes MD)
Mike Webster ...
Himself - Pittsburgh Steelers (archive footage)
Pam Webster ...
Herself - Wife of Mike Webster
Himself - Reporter
Garrett Webster ...
Himself - Son of Mike Webster
Colin Webster ...
Himself - Son of Mike Webster
Jeanne Marie Laskas ...
Herself - GQ, Game Brain


An investigation of the health crisis threatening NFL players and the long-term fortunes of football.

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Release Date:

8 October 2013 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


Ann McKee - Neuropathologist, BU CTE Center: In, like, 20 spots in his frontal lobe. He's 21. He's so young. You know, that changes the game to me... Because he'd never had a diagnosed concussion, Dr. McKee suspected Thomas might have gotten CTE from the everyday sub-concussive hits that are an inherent part of the game... Those sub-concussive hits, those hits that don't even rise to the level of what we call a concussion, or symptoms, just playing the game can be dangerous.
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User Reviews

Denying what is widely accepted today as well as what seems like common sense.
7 January 2015 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis" is an unusual documentary because I would probably assume that just about every sane and objective person would assume that repeated blows to the head would cause permanent injuries. Yet, oddly, until only very, very recently, the NFL strongly denied that repeated concussions might lead to serious long term effects! This episode of "Frontline" outlines the steps that led to research about the long- term effect of playing pro football has on Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and ultimately the NFL FINALLY accepting that there MIGHT such a thing in players. However, along the way, the film is interesting because of the intensity of the NFL fighting this research. And, what's most fascinating are the things done by the league that sure make it appear as if they are trying to obstruct, obstruct, obstruct.

Overall, this is a very sad, sobering and comprehensive show--one that would probably trouble many parents who have kids playing football. But, as I mentioned above, it's also a lot of common sense and you wonder why it took everyone so long to even consider that there is a serious relationship between playing ball and long term negative effects on the brain.

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