Football Analyst Cunningham Quits ESPN Over Player Injury Concern

Ed Cunningham Resigned as ESPN Football Analyst Citing Player Safety Concerns

"To me, it's unacceptable". "But the real crux of this is that I just don't think the game is safe for the brain".

Cunningham opened up to the New York Times in a story published Wednesday, saying he stepped away from the Worldwide Leader during its late-April layoffs because he could not continue working in a sport that compromised his conscience. He played four seasons there as a starting offensive, and played his final season with the Seattle Seahawks in 1996.

"It's changing for all of us", Cunningham said. "And it was hard for me not to walk down after the game and just say: 'Dudes, what are you doing?"

Cunningham, who been a sports broadcaster since 1997, told the Times specific incidents over the years led to his conclusion to quit over his ethical concerns with the game.

A former National Football League player, Cunningham said he made the decision to resign after ESPN laid off a significant portion of its workforce in April but didn't say at the time that his fears about the game's safety were a part of why he was leaving. He killed himself in 2011 and was posthumously found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE [.]Cunningham was also a professional teammate of Andre Waters in Arizona, and he has vivid memories of being humiliated in his first college start by the future Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau. "I used to go nuts, and now I'm like, I hope he gets up, '" Cunningham said with tears welling up in his eyes, via the newspaper.

The choice was Cunningham's, who leaves behind what he calls "a really nice six-figure salary for not a lot of days of work, and a live television gig that, except for nonsports fans, people would beat me up to take". He's been paired for most of the last decade with the play-by-play announcer Mike Patrick for Saturday afternoon games.

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