ESPN Deletes Tweet Crediting WNBA For Lopsided Brittney Griner-‘Merchant Of Death’ Trade

Videos by OutKick

Women’s basketball player Chiney Ogwumike appeared on ESPN Thursday to praise the WNBA for its role in freeing Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, the “Merchant of Death.”

For background, Russia fleeced President Biden earlier in the day as he exchanged WNBA player Brittney Griner for a notorious terrorist who conspired to kill American citizens.

Ogwumike’s words enlightened the ESPN social team. The main company account posted the video shortly after her segment. But as comments rolled in, it swiftly deleted the post.

OutKick captured the rant before ESPN could bury it

OutKick requested a comment from ESPN on the decision to delete the tweet. We have not heard back. We will update this story if the network provides a response.

It certainly appears ESPN scrubbed the video upon receiving an unexpected reaction.

See, Ogwumike and the network presumed such a segment would draw applause from the usual suspects on social media and in the press.

She even argued the U.S-Russia trade was proof that the Biden administration cares about black women, a group society often neglects. This, of course, isn’t true — there isn’t a group more protected from criticism than black women. Nonetheless, it sounded like an advantageous argument on television.

But it wasn’t. The segment appeared uninformed and out of touch with society. Ogwumike is not a race-baiting loser like her colleagues Malika Andrews, Elle Duncan, and failed television host Bomani Jones. Rather, she’s thoughtful and talented.

However, she does live in a bubble. She exists in an echo chamber with WNBA stars and ESPN broadcasters. In those circles, Joe Biden is a hero for bringing home Griner.

Elsewhere, there’s an emerging consensus that Griner for the ‘Merchant of Death‘ is a lopsided trade on par with the Seahawks fleecing the Broncos by shipping should-be-benchwarmer Russell Wilson to Denver.

And that is the reaction the tweet received. @ESPN appeared shaken by tweets like the following:

In fact, the account removed the posts moments after users tweeted the network asking if it agreed with the decision to bring Griner, a staunch critic of the United States, home instead of former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, whom Russia accused of spying on the state.

Consider the tweet and swift deletion a case of when Woke Goes Wrong, when pandering backfires unexpectedly.

ESPN is happy that the US got fleeced in a trade for Brittney Griner
Russia trades Brittney Griner back to the United States.

Still, one could argue deleting the tweet is an improvement on the part of ESPN. The same social staff of — probably — like-minded interns gleefully promoted a clip earlier this year of network host J.A. Adande declaring red state voting laws in the U.S. harsher than the genocide China commit against Muslim Uyghurs. That video, as grotesque as it is, remains live on ESPN’s social pages today.

So at least the network acknowledged its hyper-partisan, poorly-informed opinion on the Griner-Bout swap was worth burying from further humiliation.


Now, go read about the Merchant of Death. It’ll cheer you up knowing Joe Biden is not the GM of your local baseball team.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply