Originally written on The Saints Nation  |  Last updated 8/23/13

NEW YORK - APRIL 22: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell looks on as he stands on stage during the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 22, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
ESPN has dropped out of a long standing investigation and story on concussions in the NFL. It's being reported that they caved to the NFL's pressure to cease their involvement, despite public denials from ESPN and the NFL on that topic. And of course, Roger Goodell is at the center of the controversy.   Midtown lunch meeting w/Goodell led ESPN to pull out of Frontline concussion documentary http://t.co/awNpcNcWoz — Connor Ennis (@EnnisNYT) August 23, 2013 And now ESPN is catching tons of heat for their "journalistic integrity". I didn't realize they had any. And that's just the thing, the NFL controls their purse strings to a large extent and their ability to report on the NFL without bias is compromised because their success is so aligned with their tightness with the NFL. The hypocrisy inolved here is just stunning. The NFL is concerned about the validity and "fairness" of this report and ESPN stands by the similar narrative that they aren't interested in witch hunt reporting. But what about the wire tapping fabrication on Mickey Loomis that ESPN decided to run? Why didn't the NFL freeze ESPN from running with this farcical headline with nothing but an admittedly unreliable source to go on? Why did ESPN choose to run a story that we all know had no validity? There was blatant disregard for the truth and witch hunt reporting was at a premium. What about Bountygate? The NFL didn't hault ESPN's research on the matter, because it was a perfect time to blame player safety issues on the players, regardless of facts. While many reporters began to turn on the NFL and Goodell during that whole saga, by the way, it was never ESPN. And this is a problem, now, because the NFL is facing this concussion lawsuit. Make no mistake, the NFL is about their agenda and bottom line and influencing whoever they need to to get what they want. Make no mistake, also, ESPN bows down to their master, the NFL, and that's the only thing that stands in the way of them running unethical and unfounded stories. They've done it in the past, and this story has way more validity. It just hurts the NFL's reputation, something Goodell can't have. Bountygate hurts the NFL's reputation too, sure, but it gave Goodell the upper hand over the NFLPA. Something he clearly desperately needs, and he abused his power to get it.  This isn't about facts and it isn't about the truth. It never has been. This has always been about power and money, and it will continue to be that way. Roger Goodell will make sure of it. He sucks.
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