Steve Gleason: I was misquoted

Updated: August 21, 2012, 12:32 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Steve Gleason is upset about how HBO has characterized his reaction to Gregg Williams' speech, calling it the "misquote of the week" in an email sent to ProFootballTalk.com and other media outlets, so the network said later Tuesday morning that it would correct the subtitles associated with the interview.

In my opinion, speeches like the one given by Gregg Williams are not the cause of increased rate of brain disease in the NFL population. The increased rate of brain disease in the NFL population is caused by the way the game is played within the rules.

-- Steve Gleason, in email to ProFootballTalk.com

According to ProFootballTalk.com, the retired New Orleans Saints special-teams player, who is battling Lou Gehrig's disease, claims that HBO omits a key portion of his reaction in the subtitles included with the rough cut of the "Real Sports" interview that will air Tuesday night.

In response to Gleason's email, HBO said in a statement Tuesday that it would adjust the subtitles for Gleason's interview when it airs Tuesday night.

His particular gripe is how his comments about Saints defensive players' reaction to Williams' "kill the head" speech before the Saints' playoff game last season against the San Francisco 49ers were characterized.

"The real problem was no one seemed shocked," Gleason was quoted previously. "There was no discussion of, 'Wow, did we just hear that?'"

However, Gleason says in his email to the media outlets that his exact words were: "The group I was with ... no one seemed shocked," which narrows the scope of his comments from the entire room of Saints defensive players to just the group he was near.

Now, when the interview airs Tuesday night, the subtitles will match the comments Gleason says he made. "HBO has corrected the subtitling of this line for tonight's broadcast," the network said in its statement, according to USA Today.

Filmmaker Sean Pamphilon was following the Saints during the 2011 season while working on a documentary featuring Gleason and his fight against Lou Gehrig's disease. Gleason had previously expressed his disappointment with Pamphilon for releasing a portion of the audio of Williams' speech. Gleason said in April that he owned the rights to the tape and had not authorized its release.

Williams, now with the St. Louis Rams, was suspended indefinitely by the NFL for his role in the Saints' bounty program.

"In my opinion, speeches like the one given by Gregg Williams are not the cause of increased rate of brain disease in the NFL population. The increased rate of brain disease in the NFL population is caused by the way the game is played within the rules," Gleason adds in the email, according to ProFootballTalk.com.

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