Bernie Kosar on Dwight Clark ALS diagnosis: “I could make a joke”

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Dwight Clark, the legendary 49ers receiver who later served as general manager of the Browns, announced recently that he was diagnosed with ALS. Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar apparently thinks that’s something to joke about.

Kosar, who has a track record of making rambling and inappropriate statements on the radio, did so again on Wednesday, when he said on ESPN Radio in Cleveland that he suspected Clark may have already had ALS when he was the G.M. in Cleveland and that was why he didn’t succeed in that role.

“We had a bad weekend with Gale Sayers being diagnosed [with dementia] . . . Dwight Clark with ALS,” Kosar said. “I could make a joke about his struggles in picking players when he was here. It almost makes me wonder if maybe it started earlier.”

To joke about someone suffering ALS — as cruel a diagnosis as anyone can ever receive — is shockingly callous. It’s also extremely ignorant to suggest that ALS would affect a general manager’s decision making. ALS does horrific things to the body, but it doesn’t touch a sufferer’s mind. (Stephen Hawking has been making brilliant scientific discoveries for decades while suffering from ALS.)

After people on Twitter told Kosar he should apologize to Clark, Kosar answered by tweeting, “I absolutely Ment [sic] no Disrespect to Dwight!”

Kosar may not have meant disrespect, but his comment was certainly disrespectful. Perhaps it’s time that radio stations stop giving him a platform.

93 responses to “Bernie Kosar on Dwight Clark ALS diagnosis: “I could make a joke”

  1. Yay, the PC world strikes again.

    Kosar is just trying to lighten things up a bit.

    Good for you kosar, stay strong, don’t let the overly sensitive crowd get you down.

  2. “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

  3. To quote Chris Cooley: “maybe he’s drinking again”.
    Not a Browns fan, but I had a poster of this guy in my room as a boy because he was such a unique QB. I’m really regretting that now.

  4. I’m trying to figure out how Kosar was able to correctly spell absolutely correctly but he misspelled meant.

    That seems hard to do.

  5. Give Bernie a break…. he is also struggling with his own mental issues from head injuries.

  6. Bernie Kosar is an idiot. Bill made the right move with this clown.


  7. An apology and firing isn’t needed, no laws were broken and people don’t have to follow the rules but, damn do you look stupid when you don’t sometimes.

  8. Kosar obviously got sacked a few too many times. I don’t understand why he is beloved in Cleveland.

  9. Stupid is as stupid does! Just another reason why you should not drink and use drugs at the same time!

  10. I had an uncle who died from ALS. Out of all the diseases that afflicts humanity it is in my opinion the worst one. The last thing Dwight Clark needs is to have some idiot like Kosar say something stupid about this devastating disease he now has.

  11. Bernie Kosar is all you need to know about Cleveland. As a player he never won anything in the NFL, yet is considered a deity in Cleveland. Probably because he’s one of a Trump-sized handful of players who actually wanted to play there. And now he’s making fun of somebody with ALS.

    No worries about staying classy, Cleveland!

  12. officialgame says:
    Mar 23, 2017 6:48 AM

    And we can all question some of Kosar’s lousy decisions on a football field. The guy isn’t exactly a rocket scientist.

    Aside from the fact that he graduated a year early with a double major in economics and finance.

    Making stupid statements doesn’t have anything to do with intelligence, just take a look at what’s going on in Washington.

  13. Kosar’s brain got damaged from the Gastineau late hit in the 86 playoff game, he’s never been the same since.
    We went from quite intelligent to Forrest Gump.

  14. Kosar clearly isn’t right in the head, and giving him a microphone and a platform is inviting this and much worse.

  15. flipola says:
    Mar 23, 2017 6:44 AM
    There is no such thing as an appropriate joke. That’s why it’s a joke.
    Not enough thumbs that point upwards for this comment!

  16. “it wouldn’t be as funny as your joke of a career.”

    What part of it was a joke? He was the last good QB the Browns had.

    Yes, this joke is in poor taste, but let they who have never told an ill-advised joke cast the first stone.

  17. It’s becoming more difficult these days as to who is making more stupid comments by the day….Bernie Kosar, Donald Trump, or Lavar Ball. Where do these people come from ?

  18. Kosar also had a few too many concussions and hasn’t played with a full deck in decades. His life pretty much fell apart and and he blames everyone else. It’s sad.

  19. So, its ok for you idiots to make jokes about Bernie being drunk and stupid, but he can’t make jokes…..check
    Grow some skin snowflakes…life is hard.

  20. “I don’t like what you said so you shouldn’t be allowed to say it” seems to be the new norm. Shame.

  21. Perhaps the classless person in this case is the reporter who asked a beloved former player with brain damage caused by multiple concussions for a quote, got an inappropriate response, and printed it anyway to get headlines.
    Wonder if they take advantage of anyone else who has an infirmity?

  22. Classless clown. Will keep it simple so he can understand it.

    Talk to someone who has been touched by ALS, see if they think that attempt at humor was funny.

    For those that think this is all about being PC, you are so far off base.

    Unlike many diseases, those that are diagnosed with ALS have essentially been given a death sentence.

    Stay classy Bernie. Hope your radio station fires you or at the very least suspends you and suggests you do some volunteer/fund raising for ALS.

  23. Is there any class on radio anymore, anywhere? Talk radio has been the dirty back alley of “news” and “information” for decades now. They’ll let any dummy have a mic as long as there are advertising dollars. Kosar is a great example of a classless jerk being given air time.

  24. Terrible comment to make. But, then again, a lot of people suffer from open mouth, insert foot disease….just think about many of the comments you see on this site.

  25. Yeah that’s hilarious and ignorant. My brother was diagnosed with ALS in November of 2015. Was in a wheelchair and barely able to speak by the summer of 2016 he is only 44 years old. Has a 3 children including a sin that is a junior in highschool that is a did baseball player and that he coached his whole life. His oldest son had a child over the summer and all they can do is put the baby in a holder and put it on him he will never be able to hold that baby and will most likey not see his son graduate let alone pay college ball. Needless to say none of this affects the mind and is just igniter to act like it does. By no means are me or my brother any kind of snow flake this is just one of those things you just don’t open your stupid face about

  26. Remember when Belichick got rid of him and Brown fans went crazy. A couple of decades have brought complete clarity to that situation on who was right.

  27. It amazes me that liberals, who claim to be the guardians of civil rights for the world, are the first ones who want to shut down the speech of someone who they disagree with
    Freedom of speech is designed to protect the most offensive speech

  28. I don’t like Cleveland or San Francisco, not a Kosar fan or a Clark fan, but a human is a human; for better or worse!

    For Kosar to say something like this is just abhorant. Total classless bum! That’s a bitter man right there!

  29. My friend died from ALS and you think it’s a joke, you have no prospective about real life, you are no longer any use to me. I hate you and the Browns.

  30. There’s a LOT of ignorance on this thread, because ALS disease CAN cause dementia (the first link was made way back in 1889) and although it is not widely known by the public, ALS is now known to impair mental capacity in around 50% of sufferers. Please refer to the alsn/mda website’s article “When the Thinking Parts of the Brain Go Awry in ALS” by Amy Madsen, published on-line on Tue, 2011-11-01.

  31. dawgturd says:
    Mar 23, 2017 6:18 AM
    Yay, the PC world strikes again.

    Kosar is just trying to lighten things up a bit.

    Good for you kosar, stay strong, don’t let the overly sensitive crowd get you down.
    I am the last person anybody would label “PC” and yet have to say making a joke about somebody being diagnosed with ALS is disgusting. Do you actually know anybody that has or had the disease? I suspect not. It is horrific and takes everything (including your dignity) except in many instances your mind. Yes, there’s over the top political correctness which is asinine, but there’s also something to be said for human decency…wake up.

  32. You just don’t get. Bernie knows all there is to know about football. If you don’t believe it, just ask him. He’ll tell you.

  33. Did anyone actually read the whole story or did they just read the headline?

    He wasn’t making a joke about Clark. The phrase “I could make a joke” is a common euphemism when people talk about sensitive subjects. He wasn’t joking about Clark having ALS.

    The outrage here happens when the majority of the audience communicates predominantly through typing instead of talking. The intent of the euphemism doesn’t come across very well when written instead of spoken. This is why you actually have to read the whole article and read what he said a couple of times to get it.

  34. More proof that being a good pro athlete has zero correlation to being a good person. Some athletes are great humanitarians, some are horrible people, and most fall somewhere in between.

  35. Absolutely classless comment by Kosar. If I’m Clark, I don’t want an apology from that mediocre goofball — who has plenty of subject matter (for jokes at his expense) to work with too.

    And who in the hell past kindergarten can’t spell the word “meant?”

  36. How is Stephen Hawking staying alive? ALS robs breathing and swallowing eventually. Worst disease there is. Prayers for Dwight and his family.

  37. Stupid and insensitive comments aside, just wanted to remind fans of the REAL Browns that Belichick was right, and you were crazy to back this nutjob over the greatest coach of his generation.

  38. Yeah, ALS and dementia are like, different things Bernie. One slowly makes you a prisoner in your own body until your organs slowly paralyze, the other creates issues with judgement and decision making. I could make a joke here about which you may be on the fast track for but…

  39. lynnko says:
    Mar 23, 2017 9:23 AM
    It amazes me that liberals, who claim to be the guardians of civil rights for the world, are the first ones who want to shut down the speech of someone who they disagree with
    Freedom of speech is designed to protect the most offensive speech
    Free speech does not equal no accountability for what is said. I’m so tired of comedians pulling this crap too and passing it off as an art we don’t understand, let alone a drunken, former athlete. Intent does not excuse the words and timing has a lot to do with acceptance. Not to mention not understanding that ALS does not affect the mind, ever. I’m sure as Dwight’s body shuts down to the point where he can no longer breath on his own, he’ll think back on Kosar’s comment and have himself a good chuckle.

  40. Kosar’s comments are in extremely poor taste. Ask someone like me, who has lost a parent to this awful disease, if ALS is anything to be joked about!

    The sooner medical science can find a cure to this heart-breaking and debilitating disease, the better! No family should have to lose a loved-one this way!

  41. It is sad that Kosar’s brain is not functioning correctly. One point I want to make is that Kosar says a joke in bad taste and a mob forms, Seth McFarlane does it for a living and people love it.

  42. I feel bad for Bernie Kosar generally, because he’s took a beating on the field that has left him in his diminished condition. He is a hero here in Cleveland. I will always have fond memories of number 19 on the field.

    But that said, this is another example of why Bernie shouldn’t do live radio or TV. He has a lot of knowledge, yes, but he tends to blunder into saying things that just aren’t appropriate. This is why he doesn’t do color commentary during Browns preseason games anymore. And if you say “I could joke” then you are joking. It is the humor equivalent of saying “not to sound racist, but [racist thing].”

    And of course Tony Rizzo is going to defend him to the very end, because Rizzo is hopelessly allied with Bernie Kosar, thinks he could do no wrong, and would put him in charge of the Browns organization if he could. Which would be an unmitigated disaster.

  43. JSpicoli says:
    Mar 23, 2017 10:40 AM
    How is Stephen Hawking staying alive? ALS robs breathing and swallowing eventually. Worst disease there is. Prayers for Dwight and his family.
    He’s got a ventilator that breathes for him, and due to his fame and wealth, the absolute best care and technology available. And from what I understand, he made the decision to carry on despite having an utterly horrible quality of physical life given the contributions he felt he could make to society due to his intellect. He is by far an exception among those living with ALS. The disease takes most within 5 years of the onset of symptoms.

  44. I could make a joke about Bernie staring in the ESPN documentary Broke. How about the joke about Bernies daughter being a porn actress she wasn’t good enough to be a porn star.

  45. As everyone pointed out, ALS has no impact on cognitive abilities. Having my father pass from this disease, it is definitely no laughing matter.

    That being said, Kosar can spew whatever filth he wants from his mouth. The real fault lies with giving him a platform to speak. Remove that platform, and you limit the number of people the message is delivered to.

    I had no clue Kosar said anything, and while being mildly offended, my real thought was how sad it was to be Bernie right now with his ignorance. However, had this news not been posted here, there would be no platform for him that I was subjected to and thus, I wouldn’t ever care.

    As it is, I don’t care anyway.

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