ESPN anchor Jonathan Coachman previously toiled as an interviewer, analyst and a-little too-often, in-ring participant for the World Wrestling Entertainment. With that in mind, you’d think Coachman aka “Coach” would recuse himself from commenting on the recent concussion sued filed against the WWE and Vince McMahon, but that’s the kind of thing you’d expect from a real journalist with an ounce of common sense. Cageside Seats transcribes Coachman’s love letter to McMahon :
In 2003 was the first time I got into the ring to train to be an in-ring participant. The very first day I was in there, I suffered a concussion. There’s a very good chance … I didn’t get them all evaluated, but … probably between 10 and 20 concussions during my time from 2003 through 2008.
And the one thing I’ve always said about Vince McMahon is this: he is more loyal than any person, boss, human being that I have ever met in my life. It’s not just because he signed my paychecks for nearly a decade.
I don’t like it, in fact, I hate it when a certain group of people, and this was always the case when stars would leave to go somewhere else or they’d get fired because of something stupid that they did, and then they would blame Vince for whatever issues it was that they had.
Vince has recognized that, so he has paid all these guys for years and years and all he asks – all he asks – is that once a year at WrestleMania they show up, sign some autographs, shake some hands and then he pays them enough to live, right? And, so, in response to this, what do these 50 guys do? They go out and file a lawsuit that he was not there for them, and the company was not there for them, when they had all these concussion issues.
This drives me crazy, because for a lot of these people, this is a dream. It’s a dream come true. It’s not an easy business, it’s a tough business. But to come out and say that the company didn’t take care of you because of these concussions is just wrong. It will go away, and as a former employee and a person that loves that business, it just drives me crazy and I don’t like it.
On Thursday, Wrestling Observer Newsletter editor Dave Meltzer fired back :
By saying he had so many concussions that he never had evaluated, Coachman probably did more harm than good. Plus, his claiming that Vince takes care of all the ex-wrestlers out of the goodness of his heart is ridiculous. Guys get royalties for merchandise sold or being in DVDs, and the amount varies greatly, but the idea he pays everyone’s bills for a year and all they have to do is come to Mania once a year, and now they are suing him is such malarkey and that he said it on ESPN is really speaking without thinking.