The new ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro spoke with the Los Angeles Times about the sports network and indicated he got woke to the fact that sports fans aren’t interested in getting a political lesson from their talking sport heads.
“Without question, our data tells us our fans do not want us to cover politics. My job is to provide clarity. I really believe that some of our talent was confused on what was expected of them. If you fast-forward to today, I don’t believe they are confused,” Pitaro told the Los Angeles Times in an article published Monday.
They were confused? No. We live in a day and age where peacocking political values to score virtue points is expected and celebrated. If you don’t speak out about against the appropriate designated injustice, you are complicit. Those are the rules.
Former anchor Jemele Hill made some waves before she left the sports network when she tweeted out that Donald Trump was a white supremacist.
Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 11, 2017
The Hill writes:
Politics has come to the forefront of sports in recent years as athletes began increasingly speaking out and protesting, including NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to draw attention to police brutality and inequality faced by the black community. Trump and other conservatives railed against the players, saying their actions were disrespectful to the military.
Trump also criticized an ESPN and CBS decision last year to not show the national anthem in an attempt to avoid controversy.
Political issues have continued to find their way onto ESPN. Commentator Stephen A. Smith blasted Trump earlier this year for serving fast food to the Clemson University Tigers football team. In March, network personalities on social media slammed proposed cuts to the Special Olympics, which Trump later reversed.
“If you ask me is there a false narrative out there, I will tell you ESPN being a political organization is false,” he said. “I will tell you I have been very, very clear with employees here that it is not our jobs to cover politics, purely.”
(Photo by Joseph Weiser/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)