Bernie Kosar believes Concussions led to losing TV job
Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar was informed Wednesday that he would no longer be part of the team’s pre-season broadcasting crew. On Thursday, Kosar came out and blamed the reason for his firing on concussions he suffered while a player in the National Football League.
Kosar made a statement to the Cleveland Plain Dealer regarding his firing: “I was informed yesterday by the Cleveland Browns and WKYC that I have been replaced as a 2014 preseason game day color commentator. I believe that this decision stems from my slurred speech impairment, which is a direct result of the many concussions I received while playing in the NFL.”
It was noticed that Bernie Kosar had slurred speech when he was hired by the Cleveland Browns and WKYC. He had been treated for football-related brain trauma before starting his television job. Yet, some observers are saying it is more likely other factors led to Kosar’s firing from the team’s pre-season broadcasts. During a game in August, 2013, the former Brown made some awkward comments about players from the St. Louis Rams. Among other things, Kosar said on the air that Rams’ wide receivers were “horrible” and their parents should be “embarrassed”.
Late last September Kosar was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Kosar had acknowledged in prior years he battled addictions to alcohol and pain medications. He had said back in 2009 those issues were behind him; that same year, Kosar filed for bankruptcy with just $44 in the bank.
From 1986 to 1992 the Boardman, Ohio native played for Cleveland Browns. He was part of three teams that played in the AFC Championship games. Even now, almost twenty years after his retirement from the NFL, he is still one of the most beloved sports figures in the city of Cleveland. Kosar estimates he had at least a dozen concussions while playing football and had been in pain for the last ten years.
The 50-year old has crossed his fingers that everyone will reconsider their decision. “I would hope that WKYC would reconsider utilizing my in-game talents and overlook my concussion-induced impairment”.
Browns team president Alec Scheiner said, “We want Browns fans to look forward to seeing and hearing his continued contributions and analysis.”
WKYC president and general manager Brooke Spectorsky said Kosar could still have a “presence with our broadcast team”.
Kosar added: “I love to put the personal touch, pride in the Browns, and pride in our Cleveland community into the broadcast. Being able to share these preseason games with my fellow Cleveland Browns fans is truly one of the remaining joys in my life. I want everyone to know that I still bleed Brown and Orange.”