“I thought it was interesting,” said Thomas on Thursday after watching the movie trailer. “I really want to know more about what that man did to try and get his point across. It showed briefly in the previews that he tried and kept getting shut down, but I really want to know what he went through and why did he get shut down. What’s the real reason because when you see a preview, they only give you bits and pieces. When I see this movie, I’ll have some peace of mind of what really happened.”
Thomas, in his ninth season, said he’s been diagnosed with one concussion in his career. The 31-year-old said the movie will give him a better perspective of what Omalu went through, but he also understands that some of it could be sensationalized for the big screen and the general audience. “Concussion” has drawn a lot of buzz over the last month leading up to its anticipated release on a holiday weekend, when many people head to the theaters with their families.
“You’re going to have a lot of people who just look at it from the outside, and they’re going to be more worried,” Thomas said. “‘Are you guys really watching this? Are y’all really paying attention to this?’ They’re going to be a little bit more worried, but we know what’s at stake. It’s going to start up a big conversation. Everybody is going to start talking about this after they see this movie, and it’s going to be a big commotion. But what can you do? What can we do? Nothing.
“It’s the nature of the game, that’s how you explain it to them. It’s the nature of the game. You sign up for this. It’s just letting you know that this could possibly happen. …If you want to play football, just know you might have a concussion. It might happen. It sucks, but it’s the nature of the game. It’s a violent game. It’s no way of stopping it. How can you stop it? Nobody knows, and until we figure that out, it’s going to keep going the way it is.”
Meanwhile, cornerback Will Blackmon recently told his wife that he had zero desire to see the movie in theaters, but he might watch it once it’s available to stream on-demand. Blackmon, like Thomas, said understood the risks involved playing this physical sport, and he avoids the politics involved in the playing in the NFL on subjects such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
“I can definitely voice my opinion if I knew more about it, but I’m not just going to speak on something that I don’t have a lot of education on,” Blackmon said. “This movie maybe can help, but that’s how I am with politics too. I’m not going to watch a debate and then chime in because I actually know what’s going on about foreign affairs or the whole ISIS thing. I’m not going to chime in because I don’t really have the education on that. …I’m not going to speak like I know what I’m talking about.”
Blackmon, 31, values his role as a husband and father of two children. As far as his long-term health, he said he’s been fortunate that he hasn’t taken too many hits to the head in nine seasons. Blackmon also has a son, Ryder, who will turn five next week and has recently shared his desire to play football.
“I’ll have him play flag [football] until he’s in high school,” Blackmon said. “That’s on him. I’m not going to force him to do anything like that. I think that’ll be good, but I think the main thing is learning the fundamentals — learning how to play football, learning how to hit and the biggest one is learning how to get hit.”