The wait is over. League of Denial, the highly anticipated documentary about brain injuries in the NFL, airs tonight on PBS.
The documentary examines the long history of concussions and other brain injuries in the NFL, and it isn’t pretty. The film not only examines the culture that led to these injuries (such as the glorification of violence in marketing and promotions), but also the cold, hard scientific facts. One of the key players in this film is neuropathologist Ann McKee, who has spent nearly eight years examining the brains of deceased ex-NFL players. What she finds is disturbing to say the least: of the 46 brains she examined, 45 had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive degenerative brain disease cause by repeated hits to the head. While the disease can only be definitively diagnosed after death, symptoms in life can include aggression, depression and disorientation. This is just one of many revelations made in the film.
The documentary received some additional hype in August when film partner ESPN dropped out of the project. The New York Times reported ESPN dropped out because of pressure from the NFL, but both parties deny that claim. You can read more about it here.
You can see a preview of the documentary below. We want to know – will you be tuning in?