On Friday, PBS's Frontline announced that ESPN has pulled out of a documentary the two had been working on. League Of Denial covers the head injury crisis in the league, which is a broadcast partner of ESPN.
The reasons for the split are murky but in a short summary:
-- ESPN claims that it didn't feel comfortable giving its name to a documentary not in its editorial control.
-- Frontline claims ESPN had agreed to this months earlier. In fact, the two have been working together for 15 months.
Giants punter Steve Weatherford (who was speaking to ThePostGame on an unrelated matter) said he hadn't heard of the debate but wasn't shocked at the last-minute split (which an NFLPA spokesman told Deadspin.com would make players think twice about trusting ESPN).
"It doesn’t bother me, but it doesn’t surprise me," said Weatherford, who pointed out he was good friends with the late Junior Seau and other players affected by head injuries. "They know who pays the bills.
"I don't think it's a conspiracy. I'm not saying the NFL told them to pull out. [But] I think every person that's in our locker room, we know what we’re wagering by playing this game."
Regardless of why the split happened, as one New York Times contributing writer pointed out, everyone will be watching this documentary now, when it premieres Oct.
The Frontline documentary, if it wasn't already, is now must-see TV. Congratulations, NFL.
— Scott Cacciola (@ScottCacciola) August 23, 2013
Not convinced? Check out the trailer below:
Watch "League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis" preview on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.