Dan Le Batard Reminds NFL Fans ‘The Life of Pat Tillman Was Wasted’ After ‘20 Years of American Failure’ in Afghanistan
At 25-years-old, Pat Tillman gave up his NFL career and a $3.6 million contract to enlist in the United States Army eight months after the September 11 attacks. Less than two years later, he was killed in Afghanistan by friendly fire.
As chaos ensues during the attempted withdrawal from Afghanistan nearly 20 years later, podcaster and former ESPN host Dan Le Batard reminded NFL fans of the harsh reality surrounding Tillman’s legacy.
“Turn on your television and it’s biblical apocalypse,” Le Batard said. “The video coming out of Afghanistan right now is an unspeakable horror and I will remind you again, if you’re somebody who cares about sports – the life of Pat Tillman was wasted on a cause that spans across governments, across politics, 20 years of American failure.”
Enemy combatants were initially blamed after Tillman was shot in the head three times from close range and killed April 22, 2004. The US government later acknowledged friendly fire killed Tillman, who served in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
Tillman is often used as patriotic propaganda and commercialized by the NFL as a hero, having given up a multimillion-dollar football career to serve his country. And while Tillman was honorable in his cause, the reality of his death and the attempted cover up is often overlooked.
“That is what the NFL gives you during the Super Bowl when it is putting on a commercial that is remembering Pat Tillman. A life wasted. No less noble on his cause,” Le Batard said, to not blame Tillman. “This was a final death that was covered up by our government in just a horrific symbolic mess and the idea that the NFL still trots that out as something to throw in your commercials during the Super Bowl speaks to just what a waste his nobility was on behalf of that fight.”
Tillman’s family also previously spoke out against the use of his image for political gain, adding that the late veteran opposed the war.
Watch above via The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz
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