NFL Pushed ESPN to Drop Concussion Documentary
Goodell and company reportedly told network they weren't happy: sources
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Aug 23, 2013 11:52 AM CDT
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(Newser) – ESPN yesterday backed out of a documentary on NFL concussions that it's been working on with PBS' Frontline for more than a year, in a surprise, last-minute move. Today, the New York Times hints at an explanation: The NFL pressured the network into it. Commissioner Roger Goodell and other top league executives met with ESPN's president last week to express their unhappiness about the film, in what the Times describes as a "combative meeting." The paper cites two anonymous sources with "direct knowledge of the situation."

The league says it never asked ESPN to back out of the project, and an ESPN spokesman says the network pulled out because it would lack editorial control over what Frontline aired. But Frontline's deputy executive producer says ESPN agreed to split control long ago. She says that when her ESPN contacts broke the news to her, "it didn't appear that it was their decision." As recently as Aug. 6, at a Television Critics Association event, an ESPN producer said the collaboration had been marvelous, adding, "And the NFL is going to have to understand that." The documentary airs October 8 and15.

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Aug 28, 2013 5:00 AM CDT
The cowardice of ESPN and proof that they care about nothing but money like a tobacco company proves that any news they have to offer is no better than a Rupert Murdoch tabloid. Football is a perversion of everything that athletics should be. It tears down the body and the mind rather than build it up. It is nothing more than a forum for promoting junk food, booze, and low life culture. It indoctrinates the masses that the world must be separated into winners and losers so that the winners can feel good about themselves when they compete destructively in business and make the losers into homeless people who are expected to blame themselves for being homeless because they failed to compete ruthlessly enough to make someone else homeless in their place. The world is far better off without football and the economy can do better things with its wealth than squander its resources on eight figure salaries for sports stars and billion dollar stadiums.
Aug 24, 2013 12:03 PM CDT
Frontline aired a show about High School football players & the injuries that are on the rise. They also went into detail about head injuries. It's was pretty revealing. 60 minutes put several retired NFL players who couldn't spell their names anymore. This new documentary should be very interesting.
Aug 23, 2013 1:57 PM CDT
I'm really surprised that ESPN would agree to this in the first place. Getting involved with this is not good business for them at all. Of course it's morally indefensible to keep this hushed up, but very few people think about that anymore.