by Irvin Muchnick
Our recent story that the producers of the Concussion movie have a wacky partnership with a self-serving nonprofit group called the MomsTeam Institute prompted a pathetic Twitter trolling campaign against me by the organizations head, Brooke de Lench. Now comes information from two friends of Concussion Inc. — one the mother of a chronic traumatic encephlalopathy victim, apparently from youth football and high school football only; the other a direct victim of sexual abuse in USA Swimming — that de Lench is actively smearing the former, and exploited the story of the latter before mocking the victim when she complained about it.
The CTE connection is Kimberly Archie. This week, on HuffPost Live, Kim blew away Kevin Guskiewicz and Dr. William Barr, two football industry apologist scientists, on a panel discussing the ramifications of the new Will Smith vehicle about research on traumatic brain injuries. Her own 24-year-old son, who never played college or professional football, was found to have had CTE after he died in a vehicle accident — something she learned with cruel irony even as she was consulting on litigation for retired National Football League players. The link is http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/concussion-nfl-cte-brain-damage/56794cbe99ec6d2f950013bd.
A writer for Newsweek received an email from de Lench claiming that Dr. Ann McKees research group in Boston did not find evidence of CTE on the brain of Archies son Paul. De Lench also claimed that Archie lied in stating that she had been invited to a pre-opening screening of Concussion for victims families.
Archie conclusively documented to the reporter that de Lenchs claims were smears: The brain autopsy report notes stage 1 CTE, and she had a printed invitation to the Concussion screening.
This crazy scenario — characteristic of de Lenchs style in my own dealings with her — follows that of swimming abuse victim Danielle Bostick, whose story was told in her own words at https://concussioninc.net/?p=10031, https://concussioninc.net/?p=10054, and https://concussioninc.net/?p=10063.
In 2014 Danis molester, Maryland swim coach Christopher Huott, was arrested, convicted, and imprisoned.
On August 1, 2014, de Lench tweeted: Finally justice for this family who we helped, alongside a link to a television news report of Huotts conviction. Though the report did not name Bostick, her role as Huotts victim was fully public at that point.
Bostick said she was confused because MomsTeam had had no involvement in her case. She said she contacted de Lench to clarify the basis for the communication using the Huott conviction in MomsTeam promotion, and to solicit MomsTeams prospective assistance in spreading the story.
Bostick said that in a subsequent phone conversation, de Lench mocked her as an anonymous alleged victim who had no claim to challenge the authenticity of the tweet. According to Dani, the conversation concluded with de Lench hanging up on her. Bostick then complained in an email to a MomsTeam board member who never replied.
Victims advocates who are really victims exploiters worming their way into organization-building relationships with sports industry institutions? Brooke de Lench and MomsTeam clearly cross the line.
It falls on higher-powered journalists to tell more of this creepy story, and for Concussion subject Bennet Omalu and the producers to disassociate from and denounce these goons.
OUR SERIES ON THE CONCUSSION MOVIE