When we last reported on this story, ESPN had pulled out of a joint venture with PBS regarding concussions and similar brain injuries in the National Football League. As part of PBS' 'Frontline' series, "League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis" has been in production for some time, with both ESPN and PBS' logos and backing on board. Earlier this week when ESPN pulled their support of the upcoming program, rumors ran rampant that the NFL had in some way pressured the network to divest themselves from what could be rather damning evidence against America's most popular sport. Today, ESPN President John Skipper told reporters that the decision to cleave away from the documentary wasn't due to outside pressure from anyone, but rather due to embarrassment over the sensationalism present in the PBS trailer for the film.
Skipper explained that viewing the trailer (visibe at http://video.pbs.org/video/2365067212/) was the "catalyst" for ESPN's decision. The trailer was screened Aug. 6, 2013, and Skipper complained the video was “sensational” and made him “quite unhappy." He didn’t like the tagline, “Get ready to change the way you see the game," or the trailer’s final quote from a neuropathologist on the extent of brain injuries in the NFL, “I’m really wondering if every single football player doesn’t have this.” It seems that in effort to portray the concussion issue in football as pandemic, PBS may have stepped beyond the bounds of document into sensationalism.
Now, Skipper says that he is embarrassed about the documentary. Well John, at least ESPN's logo is no longer attached to the project.
What do you think about the trailer for 'Frontline's "League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis'?