Gil Brandt heavily slammed for insensitive interview about Dwayne Haskins’ death

Tragedy struck Saturday when the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins died after being hit by a dump truck in Florida. He was 24 years old.

The drama is immense. And at a time like this, talking about his shortcomings as a football player is out of place. ESPN’s Adam Schefter did so in a tweet (since deleted) reporting the news. He is not alone.

During an NFL Radio interview, Gil Brandt of the NFL Network detailed Haskins’ maturity issues. At their best, his comments were shockingly insensitive given the circumstances.

Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk shed light on Brandt’s current state of mind.

Brandt, like Schefter, came under heavy criticism.

Normally, when an athlete dies young, we tend to talk about his quality or his impact in his sport. On the contrary, people by default overestimate the sporting achievements of the deceased. It’s not that different outside of sports. When a person leaves – especially at such a young age – the natural human tendency is to remember that person’s good qualities and ignore human imperfections.

And it’s not like Brandt doesn’t know how to do that. A day before Haskins died, Brandt tweeted this about Hall of Famer Rayfield Wright.

Occasionally, people were bad enough in life that their faults were immediately mentioned when they died. But Haskins did not qualify.

Also, we can’t ignore the last thing Brandt said. We don’t know why Haskins was on the freeway. ESPN First Report quoted Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Indiana Miranda as saying that. But we also don’t know if the driver who knocked him down had been drinking. This may end up being reported. But none of the initial reports indicated alcohol was a factor at all. Brandt, including this, is highly irresponsible at this point.

One thing Brandt said that wasn’t controversial at all was, “It’s a tragic thing. Every time someone dies it’s tragic, especially when you’re 24 and have your whole life ahead of you.

In light of the tragic news, that should have been the sole focus of his comment.

UPDATE: Brandt issued an apology for his interview.

[Pete Damilatis]