'Concussion' Doctor Brings NFL Fight to Capitol Hill

PHOTO: Dr. Bennet Omalu participates in a briefing sponsored by Rep. Jackie Speier on Capitol Hill on Jan. 12, 2016 in Washington, DC.Pete Marovich/Getty Images
Dr. Bennet Omalu participates in a briefing sponsored by Rep. Jackie Speier on Capitol Hill on Jan. 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. Dr.Omalu is credited with discovering chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in former NFL players.

Dr. Bennet Omalu, the real-life subject of Hollywood film "Concussion," brought his fight to Capitol Hill Tuesday afternoon, urging industry Goliaths, including the NFL, to protect its players.

"I've never been anti-NFL or anti-soccer or anti-football," Omalu said. "I'm rather about empowerment of enlightenment and knowledge."

Dr. Omalu is a forensic pathologist and neuropathologist who first published findings on the impact of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy on football players. He spent years researching traumatic brain injuries seen in athletes and even war veterans before making his discovery.

CTE, which is caused by trauma to the brain, is a form of progressive degenerative disease.

"There is no helmet today, as I'm speaking to you, that will stop your brain from bouncing around in your skull," Omalu said.

Omalu was flagged by Reps. Tim Murphy (R-PA) and Jackie Speier (D-CA), who invited the doctor to speak to members of Congress to raise awareness and encourage their House colleagues to take the issue seriously.

β€œIt is long-past due for Congress to take a comprehensive examination of concussions and traumatic brain injuries," Murphy said.

Speier says the nation should be worried about the future of children who play physically aggressive sports.

"This is a chance to shine a bright light on the scientific consensus that the NFL has failed to adequately address,” Speier said. "If the NFL is as serious about protecting its players as it says, it needs to accept the science and make a real effort to combat CTE," Speier said.