Ed Cunningham, a NCAA College Football analyst and former player quit citing brain injury as the reason. The ESPN and ABC analyst had been employed for 20 years.
At only 48 years old, Cunningham says he will not go out and spread negativity about the sport but rather try and encourage people to find ways to make the sport safer.
Ed Cunningham quit because he hates football…. he also hates Nebraska.
— Mike Welch (@RealMikeWelch) August 30, 2017
But as it stands now, he is unable to sit on the sidelines and watch young players become injured time and time again.
“In its current state, there are some real dangers: broken limbs, wear and tear,” Cunningham said. “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.”
Ed Cunningham saved his final, fiercest criticism for Iowa’s handling of QB CJ Beathard in the bowl game. pic.twitter.com/eG0ZymZ64X
— Sam McKewon (@swmckewonOWH) August 30, 2017
Cunningham played in the NFL as a lineman for five seasons after being captain of the University of Washington’s Championship team in 1991. He was known for making color calls next to play by play man Mike Patrick. Occasionally Cunningham would criticize coaches for calling certain plays that could get a player injured or reckless hits and cheap shots from one player to another.
“The sport is at a crossroads. I love football. It’s a wonderful sport. But now that I realize what it can do to people, that it can turn 40-, 50-year-old men into walking vegetables, how do you stay silent?” – Mike Patrick
He leaves the broadcast booth in the prime of his career hopefully to find fulfillment in another venture although he concedes he’s not sure what that is going to be. As more and more players and now broadcasters walk away from the game of football, it’s time for the sport to rise up and become proactive about what it is it can do to prevent this from eliminating the sport entirely.
Live Like Kings at Caesars Palace!
Most people don’t think that it is possible for football to disappear, but if you would have told people that Horse Racing and Boxing would no longer be the most popular sports in America in the 1920’s they would have laughed.