Ex-Cowboys exec Gil Brandt apologizes for awful comments on Dwayne Haskins' death

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Tragedy hit the NFL on Saturday with the death of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins, but mourning turned into rage for some after a set of wildly over-the-line comments by a Hall of Fame executive.

Gil Brandt, the pioneering Dallas Cowboys scout best known for helping construct the franchise's first two Super Bowl teams, used an appearance on the NFL's SiriusXM channel to make cracks about Haskins' decision-making and manner of death.

Asked about evaluating Haskins when the quarterback was entering the draft following a historic season at Ohio State, the 90-year-old Brandt described him as "a guy living to be dead," criticized his decision to leave school early and speculated "maybe if he stayed in school a year he wouldn’t do silly things," alluding to Haskins reportedly getting hit by a truck while walking on an interstate for unknown reasons.

The comments were captured by NBC Sports' Pete Damilatis on Twitter and quickly went viral:

After several hours of some of the harshest criticism you will see on social media in the NFL, Brandt tweeted an apology admitting he "reacted carelessly and insensitively."

Since leaving the Cowboys, Brandt has often worked as one of the media's most prominent draft analysts. He joined NFL.com at its launch in 1995 and still writes there now, though he may have already written his last word for the league website after this interview.

A number of athletes were publicly livid with the Hall of Famer:

Brandt wasn't the only media member to get in hot water either, as ESPN's Adam Schefter received widespread criticism for describing Haskins as "a standout at Ohio State before struggling to catch on with Washington and Pittsburgh in the NFL" while reporting his death.

Schefter, no stranger to controversy in the last year, has since deleted the tweet and posted a rephrased version. He has not yet apologized.

Feb 1, 2020; Miami, Florida, USA; Gil Brandt arrives on the red carpet during the NFL Honors awards presentation at Adrienne Arsht Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Gil Brandt has apologized for his insensitive comments about Dwayne Haskins. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)