ESPN Abandons 'Frontline' NFL Concussion Project

James Andrew Miller and Ken Belson, reporting for The New York Times:

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.

As someone who knows the effects of a concussion — albeit mild — this news is disappointing.

Frontline is a terrific show on PBS, and I have no doubt they were doing a great job in putting this documentary together. That said, I can see why the NFL was unhappy; something like this would cast a dark cloud over America's most popular sport. Thus, less popularity could potentially lead to less dollars, and the owners would never stand for that.