Sad news from the Worldwide Leader today, as ESPN released a statement that longtime NFL analyst Chris Mortensen has been diagnosed with Stage IV throat cancer and that the 64-year-old will be taking a leave from the network to treat the disease.
Here’s the statement from ESPN, in which Mortensen announced the sad news, via Deadspin:
“More than a week ago, I was diagnosed with a Stage IV throat cancer,” Mortensen said in a statement Friday. “My focus shifted significantly to gathering information about the specifics of this cancer. The initial diagnosis was confirmed Friday and there is another test remaining that will determine the best possible treatment plan that will commence in the very immediate future.
“Consequently, with the support and encouragement from ESPN president John Skipper and many others at ESPN, I am temporarily stepping away from my normal NFL coverage duties to better engage this opportunity to fight the good fight that is projected to affect almost 1.7 million Americans with new cases in 2016.
“I have many inspirational examples of men, women and children who have faced this very fight. We all know somebody, right? I also have the love and prayers of my wife Micki, my family, my friends, colleagues and, most of all, my faith that serve as sources of tremendous strength. I have a peace about this and look forward to the battle.”
Mort has been with ESPN since 1991 and is a regular on shows like NFL Live and Sunday NFL Countdown, so here’s to Mort getting himself right, fighting off his cancer and getting back to doing what he does best. #FuckCancer.