Truth Doesn't Have a Side

A few years ago, a fascinating film hit theaters, called Concussion.  It told the story of a Nigerian doctor, Bennett Omalu, who discovered the debilitating brain disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which is caused by repeated trauma to the head.  Most commonly found in athletes in high contact sports, such as football, boxing, rugby, and ice hockey, this terrible condition causes mood swings, sudden violent behavior, forgetfulness, and eventually death.  There is no known cure.

The movie itself was very popular, and brought a lot of attention to the real dangers of high contact sports.  But, now, Dr. Omalu has written a book, and I highly recommend you check it out.  In this moving memoir, Omalu talks about his journey to discovering CTE, from being the son of an orphan in Nigeria, to surviving a poor upbringing in the midst of civil war, to his eventual move to America and the making of Concussion. He talks about racism, corruption, the immigrant experience, football, medicine, film, and how his faith in God got him through the darkest parts of his life.

This is a book that will be hard to put down.  I was constantly amazed by Dr. Omalu's strength of character, and the dignified way that he bore all of his struggles.  It was eye-opening, too, to learn about the causes and damages of CTE.  This book might strike some as controversial, as it attacks one of America's favorite pastimes, but Omalu's strong, clear voice and powerful assertions will leave you questioning everything you had ever thought about football.  And for those who are left with more questions after finishing the book, there is even a Q&A section in the back that addresses the points discussed in earlier chapters.  Make no mistake: football is a very dangerous sport.  Whether you're a fan, a player, or a friend or family member of someone who plays, this is a very important book that I highly recommend.

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