Nigerian-born Dr. Bennet Omalu, 47, is the forensic neuropathologist who DISCOVERED Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in 2002.
Dr. Omalu was performing an autopsy on former Pittsburgh Steelers star Mike Webster. Webster died of a heart attack at the age of 50, after years of depression and dementia that eventually led to him becoming homeless and forgetting how to do basic things, such as eating.
From examining Webster and other football players, Omalu determined that repeated head trauma from the football causes a brain condition that leads to memory loss, impaired judgement, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, and eventually progressive dementia.
Doctors knew that boxers suffered brain problems after years of continuous head trauma, but Omalu was the first person to associate the same issues with football players.
After Omalu published his findings, the NFL sent a letter to one of his colleagues accusing him of fraud. Omalu told Frontline in 2013: "They went to the press. They insinuated I was not practiing medicine; I was practicing voodoo."
Because Omalu is from Nigeria, some people said that he was "attacking the American way of life." Omalu told Frontline that he was asked, "How dare you, a foreigner like you from Nigeria? What is Nigeria known for, the eighth most corrupt country in the world? Who are you? Who do you think you are to come to tell us how to live our lives?"
Today, Dr. Omalu's work has received its due recognition and his life's story will be told in a new movie, Concussion. The lead actor in the movie, who will also play Dr. Omalu is legendary actor, WILL SMITH. Yay!
Dr. Omalu's story is truly inspiring--Stand by your truth and don't give up and I can't wait to watch the movie in December.
Watch the trailer below: