VanityFair- This week, Smith told Vanity Fair he’s disappointed the film failed to resonate with a bigger audience.
“I thought Concussion would have a bigger impact. 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,” he said. “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.”
“I saw [former C.I.A. director David] Petraeus randomly a couple months ago, and he said, ‘Listen, I just watched Concussion. My wife made me watch it; I didn’t wanna watch it. I had refused to watch it. That’s the best movie you ever made.’ That was the first time that someone had actually, specifically said they didn’t want the pain of watching it.”
While Petraeus may have been pleasantly surprised, audiences weren’t up for facing the realities of football injuries. As Smith joked: “I got away with choking a dog to death—but you are not gonna choke football.”
Stunning. Just a stunning revelation. Can you believe that Will Smith - armed with a scalpel and a half-believable African accent - wasn't able to put a dent in the NFL's popularity by shedding light on the fact that football is a dangerous sport? It's almost like people don't care that athletes are suffering from a degenerative brain disease years after keeping us entertained on Sunday's. Pretty shocking stuff. I thought fans of a league that was blissfully ignorant of rampant domestic abuse and guilty of being run like a dictatorship would finally see the light after watching a fairly average movie. Especially one that reminded everyone that a bunch of men with superhuman strength bashing their heads together at high speeds could potentially be compromising their long term health. I thought a couple recognizable actors pretending - albeit convincingly - to have dementia would be the death blow to a multi-billion dollar corporation that "owns a day of the week". Surprised people didn't start packing up their fandom to take it to another sport after that overly dramatic scene in which Will Smith demanded the truth. I mean, if the completely brand new realization that the NFL has been hiding head injuries didn't have you scrambling to click away from the 'RedZone' channel then what - outside of a power outage - will? How dare we not boycott football - as well as decades upon decades of allegiance to our particular teams - after Will Smith's character showed us exactly how detrimental it can be to participants who now willingly accept the risks associated with playing it.