ESPN college football analyst quits for concern of players’ safety

College Football injury
Darryl Williams of the
Mississippi State Bulldogs is wheeled off of the field after
sustaining an injury against the Kentucky

Michael Hickey/Getty

The dangers of football are becoming more and more of a focal
point of conversations around the future of the sport.

Ed Cunningham is a former NFL player and knows the risks involved
in the sport first hand, and recently stepped down from his job
as an ESPN college football color analyst out of concerns
for player safety.

Cunningham told the New York
that, “I can just no longer be in that
cheerleader’s spot.”

Cunningham specifically cited CTE as his main point of
conflict with continuing at his position. Cuningham said he
knows several players who suffered in their
years after their time in football and a few players found
to have the disease after committing suicide.

“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.”

“I know a lot of people who say: ‘I just can’t cheer for
the big hits anymore. I used to go nuts, and now I’m like, I hope
he gets up,'” Cunningham said. His eyes welled with tears. “It’s
changing for all of us. I don’t currently think the game is safe
for the brain. And, oh, by the way, I’ve had teammates who have
killed themselves. Dave Duerson put a shotgun to his chest so we
could study his brain.”

Ex-players have
been more
 regarding concerns over concussions, and
Cunningham’s decision will likely not be the last of its nature;
as more information comes to light about the relationship between
football and the long-term effects
of concussions
, other people in positions associated with the
sport might begin to step down for similar ethical

Cunningham told the Times that he was free from the
symptoms of CTE, and hopes to spend more time with his young
children. You can read the full story here.