Tonight PBS is devoting two-hours of primetime programming and the season premiere of Frontline to the documentary, League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis. The show is based on the research of two award-winning ESPN investigative journalists, Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru. Their related book, League of Inquiry: The NFL, Concussions, and the Battle for Truth was just published today. The documentary and the book investigate how the NFL, over a period of nearly two decades, sought to cover up and deny mounting evidence of the connection between football and brain damage.
In April 2012 EST/Sloan mounted the world premiere of Headstrong by Patrick Link, a play that dramatizes the tremendous impact years of NFL collisions has on one extended family. Veteran newsman Stone Phillips found the play "funny, frightening, relevant and enlightening, Headstrong folds the scientific, medical, social and cultural aspects of the sports/CTE story into a dramatic family narrative beautifully with wonderful, engaging characters."
Two of the key figures in the PBS documentary – forensic neuropathologist Bennet Omalu and New York Giants great Harry Carson – participated in a post-performance discussion about Headstrong and about the controversial subject of concussions and sports in 2012. You can watch video excerpts of that discussion, moderated by Phillips, here.
You can download an audio recording of a full cast performance of Headstrong now from LA Theatreworks.