WASHINGTON (RNS) The doctor at the center of the new movie “Concussion” says his Catholic faith gave him the courage to pursue the truth about concussions in U.S. professional football.
“What is there to be afraid of?” Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian-American forensic pathologist, said in an interview with RNS. “If I profess to be a Christian seeking the truth, why would I stop?”
Omalu, 47, is played by actor Will Smith in the film that opens in theaters across the country on Christmas Day. The story follows how he challenged the National Football League over the destructive nature of concussions after performing the autopsy of Hall of Famer “Iron Mike” Webster. Webster was a Pittsburgh Steeler who ended up homeless from the condition Omalu dubbed “chronic traumatic encephalopathy.”
“You’re going to war with a corporation that owns a day of the week … the same day that church used to own,” Dr. Cyril Wecht, Omalu’s supervisor portrayed by actor Albert Brooks, tells him in the movie.
In the RNS interview, Omalu said his was a quest motivated by both faith and science.
“Faith and science go together,” he said. “They are not antagonistic to each other. There is the humanity of science. Science seeks the truth. Faith seeks the truth. So there is a commonality between science and faith.”
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