Famous Football Announcer Walks Away From ESPN For Shocking Reason

A famous, longtime football analyst and announcer has decided to walk away from the game. He's basing his decision on the increasing health concerns associated with the physically tasking sport.

While it’s common knowledge that football is a dangerous sport, that fact has really come to light in recent times. A number of studies have linked repetitive hits to the head as a precursor to brain disease. As such, the overall safety of the sport has been called into question. There are no easy answers on how to make it safer, and the findings of the various studies haven’t sold everybody that there’s even a problem. However, there’s plenty of folks that believe the studies are on the money, and they’re taking firm stances as a result.

As the Daily Mail shares, we can add this former NFL player and analyst to that camp. Ed Cunningham is a former NFL player that has been working as an analyst for ESPN and ABC. Cunningham has resigned from his gig, and he directly points to the safety of the game as the reason.

“In its current state, there are some real dangers: broken limbs, wear and tear,” he said during an interview with the New York Times. “But the real crux of this is that I just don't think the game is safe for the brain. To me, it's unacceptable.”

Cunningham acknowledges that his lengthy connection with the sport may make it hard for others to reconcile his current stance, but he’s at peace with his decision.

“I take full ownership of my alignment with the sport. I can just no longer be in that cheerleader's spot,” he added. “I've had teammates who have killed themselves. Dave Duerson put a shotgun to his chest so we could study his brain.”

In addition to Duerson, Cunningham lost another former teammate, Andre Waters, to suicide. Autopsies revealed that both players suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease that can cause aggression, depression, and suicidal tendencies. As one study found, a shocking number of deceased players have shown signs of the disease.

“And earlier this year, Boston University's dedicated brain injury investigation team found CTE in 99 percent of former NFL players' brains in post-mortem examinations,” the Mail reports.

“In a convenience sample of deceased football players who donated their brains for research, a high proportion had neuropathological evidence of CTE, suggesting that CTE may be related to prior participation in football,” the report reads in part.

Studies have aso found that CTE, which is caused by repetitive head trauma, has been linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and Alzheimer’s disease.

“Over time, these hard impacts result in confusion, depression and eventually dementia. There has been several retired football players who have come forward with brain diseases. They are attributing their condition to playing football and the hits they took,” the Mail adds. “More than 1,800 former athletes and military veterans have pledged to donate their brains to the Concussion Legacy Foundation for CTE research. CTE was usually associated with boxing before former NFL players began revealing their conditions.”

As for Cunningham, he made the right call based on how he feels. If you can no longer reconcile your personal feelings with the task at hand, it’s time to move on.

Source: Daily Mail
Photo: YouTube, WireImage

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