Deitsch On Costas: "No One's Going To Be A Truth-Teller"

If you want hard-hitting truths about concussions and CTE, you're not going to find it on pre- and postgame shows, The Athletic's Richard Deitsch says

The DA Show
February 13, 2019 - 12:21 pm

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Bob Costas dropped a media bombshell earlier this week, claiming that he was essentially pushed out at NBC for being critical of the dangers of football and the NFL’s role in the concussion and CTE crises.


“I got to be honest: I’m a realist when it comes to this stuff, and I’m certainly a cynic,” The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch said on The DA Show. “I don’t think anyone who’s working for a current NFL media-rights-holder can be a real hard truth-teller when it comes to either the pregame or the in-game stuff. You can talk about criminality, you can talk about things that happened with players, and maybe even sometimes be critical of owners – although I would argue that’s very light criticism. 

“But when it comes to what I consider the third-rail issues of the NFL like brain injury, concussions – things that could really impact the financial future of this league – no one’s going to be a truth-teller,” Deitsch continued. “As much as you think Cris Collinsworth is an honest, truth-telling guy, when is the last time you ever heard Cris Collinsworth on a broadcast go two minutes on significant brain injuries and the damage that the NFL product can do to people? It’s just not going to happen.”

Costas, 66, is perhaps the preeminent sports journalist of his generation. It seems, however, that no is bigger than the NFL.

“I think Costas ran up against that,” Deitsch said. “There are some who could criticize Costas, and I think it would be fair to say, ‘Hey, you’ve always thought this. Why did you come back to be the frontman of Football Night in America?’ If you are interested in this stuff – and I realize a lot of football fans are not – but if you are interested in this stuff, the only way you’re really going to get it is from the investigate reporters at places like ESPN or the New York Times or The Washington Post or wherever – Sports Illustrated. You’re not getting this on the pregame shows, and you’re certainly not getting it in-game.”