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Report: NFL pressured ESPN to exit Frontline series

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10:55 AM ET 08.24 | ESPN was involved with a hard-hitting television series that delivered an unsavory depiction of professional football players. The N.F.L.'s commissioner was so perturbed that he complained to the chief executive of the Walt Disney Company, ESPN's parent company. Not long after, ESPN stopped promoting the show, then decided to end its run after one season. On Thursday, ESPN, which has spent heavily in recent years to build its investigative reporting team, abruptly ended its affiliation with "Frontline," a public affairs television series that was weeks from showing a jointly produced two-part investigative project about the N.F.L.'s contentious handling of head injuries. The divorce came a week after the N.F.L. voiced its displeasure with the documentary at a lunch between league and ESPN executives, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation.

New York Times

Roger Goodell, Getty Images Roger Goodell, Getty Images
Comment #1 has been removed
August 24, 2013  11:14 AM ET

Nobody takes ESPN seriously anyway.

August 24, 2013  11:53 AM ET

Shocking! I am shocked to hear this.

August 24, 2013  11:59 AM ET

Wow.

August 24, 2013  12:11 PM ET
QUOTE(#1):

The rash of concussions and their long term consequences are a threat to the sport.

You'll be seeing fewer quality athletes playing high school ball over the next couple of years. A couple of big-time concussion lawsuits will drive up insurance costs, and school districts, already strapped for cash, will start dropping football as a varsity sport. That will reach the college level a few years later, and the NFL's talent pool will start to dry up.

August 24, 2013  12:12 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Wow.

Freedom of the press is fast disappearing, even in sports.

Scary, isn't it?

August 24, 2013  12:14 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Freedom of the press is fast disappearing, even in sports.Scary, isn't it?

When Corporations become people, all is lost.

August 24, 2013  12:24 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

When Corporations become people, all is lost.

Really, it's no different from labor unions and PACs.

I used to hate the idea, but I'm beginning to think that we should take all the private money and special interests out of elections, and have the government fund it 100%.

August 24, 2013  12:46 PM ET

I honestly didn't think the players had much of a chance in court against the league... But I'm starting to reconsider that position. The evidence that OTL and Frontline has been presenting the last few weeks is fairly damning.

Mr. Goodell had better develop a thicker skin.

August 24, 2013  01:13 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

I honestly didn't think the players had much of a chance in court against the league... But I'm starting to reconsider that position. The evidence that OTL and Frontline has been presenting the last few weeks is fairly damning. Mr. Goodell had better develop a thicker skin.

Why should he develop a thick skin when apparently all he has to do is point and scowl to make his enemies disappear?

August 24, 2013  01:29 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Why should he develop a thick skin when apparently all he has to do is point and scowl to make his enemies disappear?

might work against Bornstein and his "partners" at espen...

Lets see how his scowl works in court.

August 24, 2013  02:24 PM ET
QUOTE(#5):

You'll be seeing fewer quality athletes playing high school ball over the next couple of years. A couple of big-time concussion lawsuits will drive up insurance costs, and school districts, already strapped for cash, will start dropping football as a varsity sport. That will reach the college level a few years later, and the NFL's talent pool will start to dry up.

If I owned an NFL team this might be the top of the market for selling prices.
The legal judgements are going to change football and other sports (hockey?) with substantial risks of permanent brain damage.

August 24, 2013  06:15 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Lets see how his scowl works in court.

All he needs is the powdered wig. He's already got the robes.

 
August 25, 2013  11:44 AM ET

10-15 years ago, it was a highlight clip when a player's helmet came off in a game. Now it happens 6 times a game, even in the preseason.

The boys are hitting harder than the current equipment can absorb.

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