The NFL Is Getting a Christmas Gift From Will Smith

The NFL Is Getting a Christmas Gift From Will Smith

They may not want to unwrap it, though.

Published December 24th

Will Smith's new movie Concussion has been the nightmare before Christmas for the NFL, and now its adding one more log to the fire. According to sources, the actor and Sony, the studio releasing the film, have offered free passes to NFL players who wish to see it.

While this may seem like a nice gesture, it's basically a can of worms wrapped in Christmas paper. For reasons that are obvious, the NFL basically wishes it didn't exist. Concussion explores the league's conspiracy to keep CTE, a medical condition believed to result from repeat trauma to the brain, out of the public consciousness and far away from the multi-billion dollar industry. The free handout of tickets isn't going to help that.

"This is a movie for the players, so we wanted to give them a chance to see it before its nationwide release and free admission during its run in theaters," a statement from producers Ridley Scott and Giannina Scott said. "The movie is so inspiring — Will Smith gives one of the best performances of his career as Dr. Bennet Omalu, a man who shined a light on the truth."

The statement continues, "The odds were stacked against him, but he had the truth on his side, and now, his discovery is all anyone's talking about. We think the players will enjoy watching this movie about Dr. Omalu's incredible courage — courage that changed the game."

NFL players can see the film at any time during its theatrical run after it opens on Christmas Day. As The Hollywood Reporter previously reported, Sony has already held several private screenings for players, and hundreds of active and former players have already watched the film, including New York Jets Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis, who called it "educational."

We'll see how this is going to affect Monday Night Football soon enough. As for Smith, Oscar buzz is already in the air. Watch the actor humbly talk about his craft in our exclusive interview below:

(Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

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Written by Evelyn Diaz

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