Bennet Omalu, the famed neuropathologist who discovered Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in former football players, is now sending a stern warning to Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to “stop playing” football after suffering a concussion last Thursday.
Tagovailoa was stretchered off the field in Miami’s loss to the Bengals on “Thursday Night Football” after the back of his head bounced off the ground following a sack from Cincinnati nose tackle Josh Tupou.
The quarterback’s fingers flexed in a “fencing response,” and he remained on the field before he was carted off and subsequently hospitalized.
“If you love your life,” Omalu said in a message to the Miami star, “if you love your family, you love your kids — if you have kids — it’s time to gallantly walk away. Go find something else to do.”
“Tua, my brother. I love you,” Omalu said. “I love you as much as I love my son. Stop playing. Stop. Hang your helmet and gallantly walk away.”
“…He should stop,” the doctor said. “Sometimes money is not more valuable than human life. $20 billion is not worth more than your brain.”
Omalu was the first to identify CTE in the brains of deceased athletes and military veterans. Back in 2015, Sony Pictures produced and released a major Hollywood film titled “Concussion” on Bennet’s life and work, which was played by Will Smith.
Tagovailoa remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol and has already been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Jets.
Teddy Bridgewater is expected to play in his place.