Talk of ESPN’s supposed liberal bias and cries of “Stick to sports!” aren’t likely going away anytime soon.
There are many reasons for drops in ratings and sometimes widespread layoffs at the Worldwide Leader in Sports, and there are some out there who believe ESPN’s latest issues centered mostly around a politically correct, left-leaning approach to how it handles its business.
As is the case with everything, there’s certainly more than one side to the story, but those who want less politics in their sports coverage won’t be happy to see what went down at ESPN over the last day.
“SportsCenter” anchor Jemele Hill ruffled the feathers of Donald Trump supporters Monday night when she called the president a “white supremacist” on Twitter.
That’s just a small sampling.
Some people, especially those who lean right, called on ESPN to fire Hill for such an attack on the president. That, of course, probably wasn’t going to happen over a tweet storm, especially given how much the network has invested in Hill, who alongside Michael Smith is a big piece of the network’s 6 p.m. ET “SportsCenter.”
However, the network finally weighed in Tuesday afternoon, releasing a statement.
Of course, that wasn’t enough for many ESPN haters, who pointed to the network’s decision to fire Curt Schilling for his social-media behavior after he shared a meme the company deemed hateful toward transgender people.
The Hill incident comes just a few weeks after ESPN tried to get in front of a potential situation by pulling play-by-play man Robert Lee from its University of Virginia football telecast in Charlottesville, Va., just weeks after awful violence in that same city stemming from protests over the removal of a statue honoring Confederate general Robert E. Lee.
ESPN said that move was made to protect Lee from, essentially, going viral. Once the story leaked, though, that’s exactly what happened.
Coincidentally, the Hill story comes out a day after ESPN brought back country music singer Hank Williams Jr. to its “Monday Night Football” broadcast, six years after cutting ties with him for an appearance on FOX News in which he made an analogy comparing Adolf Hitler and then-president Barack Obama.
Regardless of which side you take, it’s hard to dispute ESPN has put itself in a less-than-enviable position.
Thumbnail photo via Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports Images
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