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Will Smith thought Concussion would have 'bigger impact'

‘You are not gonna choke football,’ he said of his film’s failure to bring change

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Melinda Sue Gordon

Will Smith has battled aliens, robots, giant mechanical spiders, even George Foreman, but none have compared to the fight he put up against the game of football. 

Speaking with Vanity Fair, Smith spoke about his disappointment that his 2015 film Concussion, which chronicled Dr. Bennet Omalu’s work studying head trauma in relation to football, didn’t bring about more change.

“I thought Concussion would have a bigger impact,” said the Suicide Squad star. “I knew it would be hard because people love the game, but the science is so overwhelming, and it’s something that we really need to take a look at. I thought that people would get behind the mission of that. I was surprised that people were absolutely like, ‘Nope, I’m not stopping watching football, so I don’t want to know.'”

Smith starred as Omalu in the true story of the doctor’s discovery of the long-term effects that repeated blows to the head can cause, now known as CTE. The film earned Smith a Golden Globe nomination, but didn’t make waves at the box office, only pulling in $48 million globally. 

“I got away with choking a dog to death — but you are not gonna choke football,” joked Smith, referencing the scene in I Am Legend, where he has to put down his zombie-infected pet.

Smith will be seen next in Collateral Beauty, out Dec. 16.