An Athlete’s Perspective on American Man

Being a sports-related documentary, it made sense that American Man would draw interest in the athletic community.  Along with Kevin Turner himself, former NFL linebacker and Hall of Famer Harry Carson was in attendance along with a strong showing from IMG.

IMG is a global athletic powerhouse whose school trains nearly every major sport, contains state of the art facilities, and has ushered in the careers of major athletes such as Paula Creamer, Maria Sharapova, and Freddy Adu.  Their personnel, along with some of their athletes in training, showed up to support ALS awareness in sports.  IMG Sports Advisor Chris King commented on the event:

“We are very fortunate to have a relationship with Tom Hall and will continue to support the Sarasota Film Festival and all it brings to the Sarasota community. This film is a testament to all sports that player safety and education need to remain at the forefront of not only the players but league officials. My heart goes out to Kevin Turner and his team for all their effort in continuing to raise awareness for this disease and the continued safety of today’s players”.

Tonight at Cinema Tropicale, we asked their Michael Hawthorne, who played six seasons at cornerback with the Saints and Packers, what his thoughts were on the film:

“I hope this picture opens eyes to the severity of head trauma and concussions, and not just football and baseball, I met a young lady the other night who suffered head trauma from soccer.  Playing the game you love can kill you and kill you faster.  Its shining awareness to the situation.

I left out with feeling the sense of hope and helplessness at the same time.  I want to do everything I can for Kevin Turner, because he’s apart of the NFL alumni.  It’s hard when you see him try to pick up those simple pegs, like the game you play at Cracker Barrel.  It was killing him to do so. You just want to lift them for him.  It’s tough, but at the same time, it’s the truth of what can happen from head trauma.  It’s the knowledge and information that needs to come out about ALS and other things that come from high impact sports.  I love the game, but if you can reduce the health risk, it can become a better game….It could be me, and how would my little ones feel seeing daddy like that?  It’s heart wrenching, but it’s the truth.

We are still playing for fun and entertainment, not to kill ourself.  If there is no known cure, we need to be proactive about how to cure it (ALS.)  How do you play this game, make a living, have fun, and walk away at the end of the day?  It’s sad knowing that some people have signed their death certificate.”


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