Concussion by Jeanne Marie Laskas
The David vs Goliath story of the pathologist who discovered that America's favourite sport was killing its players. The brilliant young forensic pathologist had no idea that the body on the slab in front of him would change his life, and ultimately change the world. The body belonged to 53 year-old Mike Webster, a legendary American Footballer. After retiring from the game Webster's mental health had rapidly declined - he ended up living out of his van, treating his back pain with a Taser and using Superglue to fix his rotting teeth. How did this happen? How did Mike Webster end up like this? Dr. Bennet Omalu wanted to know. Born in Nigeria against the brutal backdrop of Civil War, Omalu's move to America and training as a pathologist let him act as an advocate for the dead. He considered it his calling. The autopsy found that Webster's psychosis was no accident. Omalu unearthed groundbreaking evidence of a trauma-related disease - the inevitable consequence of years of head clashes in games. He knew that it would kill scores of other sportsmen unless something was done, and naively believed that the NFL would welcome the discovery. Instead, America's most powerful corporation tried to destroy him and discredit his findings. Taut and gorgeously told, this is the intensely personal story of one man's fight against a multi billion dollar colossus. A man who stood up for what was right, whatever the cost.
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