SBD/August 8, 2013/Media

ESPN Producer Says Network's NFL Coverage Doesn't Glorify Violent Hits

ESPN Senior Coordinating Producer Dwayne Bray said that the net's football coverage "does not unnecessarily celebrate the kind of hard contact that can cause dangerous concussions," according to David Hinckley of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Bray was "part of a panel on a joint investigative series" between ESPN and PBS' "Frontline" exploring the concussion problem in the NFL. The two-part series, called "League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis," will air Oct. 8-15. When asked whether ESPN commentators and highlights single out hard hits for attention, Bray said, "That may have been true six, eight years ago. I think we've been very restrained on this issue. I mean, it is our job to report the news. So if there are hard hits, we report the news. But at the same time, I think even as the NFL and the parents are being educated, ESPN and other media entities are being educated." He added, "I think we've shown a lot of restraint, especially in recent years, in terms of showing the big hits. We have a lot of discussions and we don't show any of that footage willy nilly. There's a lot of thought and discussion that goes into our highlights." Bray also "defended ESPN in a discussion about whether the network can effectively cover an organization with which it also has a lucrative business partnership." He said, "We don't see this (Documentary) as ESPN going up against the NFL. People can in their soundbites, they are allowed their opinion. We just see this as reporting the story. We've been reporting the story for a very long time, and we're going to continue to report the story" (NYDAILYNEWS.com, 8/7).
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