Veteran broadcaster Bob Costas has revealed he was pulled from NBC’s protection of the Super Bowl final 12 months due to feedback he made on the problem of concussions within the NFL.
In a wide-ranging interview with ESPN, the 66-year-old defined that NBC executives had despatched him a textual content by which they mentioned his feedback had “crossed the line,” prompting his removing from the printed of Super Bowl LII.
“I think the words were, ‘You’ve crossed the line,'” Costas, who formally left NBC final month, was quoted as saying.
“My thought was, ‘What line have I crossed?'”
A number of months earlier, Costas had advised an University of Maryland panel that football needed to take accountability and entrance as much as the ever-increasing variety of circumstances of mind harm amongst gamers.
“The issue that is most substantial, the existential issue, is the nature of football itself,” he mentioned, as per The Washington Post. “The actuality is that this recreation destroys individuals’s brains.
“You can’t change the essential nature of the sport. I definitely wouldn’t let, if I had an athletically gifted 12- or 13-year-old son, I’d not let him play football.”
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy ( CTE) has been discovered to be explicit widespread amongst retired football gamers. A examine printed final 12 months by Boston University confirmed a staggering 99 %—110 out of 111—of the brains of deceased NFL gamers that had been donated to scientific analysis confirmed indicators of CTE.
NBC, for whom Costas had labored since 1979, instantly distanced itself from the feedback and Costas tried to make clear his stance.
In a bid to placate a brewing storm, Costas appeared on CNN a couple of days after the symposium in Maryland to clarify his feedback weren’t meant to be vital of NBC.
“I’ve been saying these things for the better part of a decade, and often on NBC, in front of the biggest audience not just in all of sports, but in all of television—‘Sunday Night Football,’” he advised host Michael Smerconish.
“And I think NBC Sports deserves credit for this.”
However, shortly after his look on CNN, he acquired the textual content from Sam Flood, NBC’s govt producer.
As a end result, Costas, who had lined a number of Super Bowls, Olympic Games, World Series and NBA Finals all through his profession, was not a part of the community’s protection of Super Bowl LII.
The veteran broadcaster, who had already begun the method of stepping down from his most important on-air roles nearly a 12 months earlier, insisted being denied a swansong was not overly disappointing.
“I recall the phrase, ‘It’s a six-hour, day-long celebration of football, and you’re not the right person to celebrate football,’” he advised ESPN. “To which my response was not, ‘Oh please, please, change your mind.’ My response was, ‘Yeah, I guess you’re right.’”
Sunday Night Football commentator Bob Costas sits on set earlier than the NFL recreation between the New England Patriots and the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on September 11, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. New England gained 23-21. Ethan Miller/Getty Images