Keith Olbermann coolly picked apart a CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco’s craven dismissal of the risks professional football players take of sustaining brain injuries in a commentary Friday night, using the online columnist’s own “nasty” words to highlight Prisco’s own selfishness.
“In the wake of the $765 million settlement between the NFL and 4,500 former players suing the league over head trauma, the list, the names, the men lost to dementia, death or both should be enough to make every fan and every football person and every sportswriter somber — and at least respectful,” Olbermann said on his new ESPN show. “Sadly, no.”
Prisco, who is billed by CBS as having covered the National Football League for 30 years, dismissed the settlement as a “money grab” and argued that it opened the door for him to pursue his own lawsuit based on a concussion he received playing during his high-school days.
“Why not? I might get an extra $100,000 or so for my bank account,” Prisco wrote, adding, “Why not go after the high schools? Pop Warner? Colleges? And maybe even those two-hand touch games set up by our dads?”
Olbermann responded by pointing out that, during his career, Prisco was sure to have encountered several players who either died or killed themselves in incidents linked to the degenerative disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), like Dave Duerson, Junior Seau, Mike Webster; or players like Jim McMahon and Jamal Lewis who, though still alive, are still dealing with the side-effects.
“One is tempted to offer an insult here, or to mock, as the columnist has mocked,” Olbermann said of Prisco’s column. “But in point of fact, as the Duerson and Seau — and many of the other — cases suggest, irrational anger and disconnecting from the human pain of others are, in fact, warning signs for CTE or other possible concussion-related trauma. And quite frankly, it is my earnest hope that this columnist gets himself checked out before it’s too late.”
Watch Olbermann’s commentary, as posted on his YouTube channel, below.