Honesty about long term effects of concussions upon the brain may have been suppressed over the years. But the truth is trickling out at an ever increasing rate. This past summer, the National Football League reached a $765 million settlement in a lawsuit filed by 4,500 retired NFL players who say the league hid the long-term effects of concussions for years. Recently, Hall of Fame Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett announced he was suffering from CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), a condition that is connected to repeated brain trauma. The malady has been linked to suicide and degenerative health conditions. Dorsett played during a time where it was not uncommon for a player who suffered a concussion to return to the same game later after a whiff of smelling salts. The late Chicago Bears player Dave Duerson and the late San Diego Chargers player Junior Seau both committed suicide and were diagnosed with the disease posthumously.
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Recently former Miami Dolphins star Mark Duper told CBS Sports that he was diagnosed with the condition as well. Some states are reporting a drastic decrease in the participation of children in Pop Warner or Pee Wee football league because of increased parental awareness of the effects of suffering from multiple concussions. Meanwhile, the NFL says it is trying to become more proactive regarding the diagnosis of, and treatment for, concussions. It was only a matter of time before an intrepid filmmaker would take the lead in creating a work where this unfortunate illness is front and center. Well, that time has arrived sooner than some may have thought. Actor Isaiah Washington will reportedly team with NFL player-turned-director Matthew Cherry (The Last Fall) to shoot "Game Time Decision". After his most recent film, the critically-acclaimed "Blue Caprice", completes its rounds. Deadline.com is reporting that Washington will be executive producer for the film as well as star in it as a retired NFL football player suffering from CTE. Because of this, he works to convince his son to give up football. "I have found myself intrigued, educated, deeply moved and empowered by Matthew A. Cherry’s brilliant script," Washington told Deadline. "I can actually see what could have become of me had I been given my childhood dream of becoming a professional football player."
Cherry and Washington are slated to begin production on this offering in Spring 2014. Last week it was revealed that director Ridley Scott reportedly has his own script about CTE. Scott will begin production of his work after he completes his new Russell Crowe vehicle "Noah".