In February, ESPN host J.A. Adande told Americans to stop questioning the genocide that the Chinese Communist Party commits against the Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region.
Adande declared the act of genocide no worse than red states in the US requiring voter ID on ESPN airwaves.
ESPN still has Adande’s comments posted on its timeline:
So an ESPN commentator says asking for identification to vote is as ruthless as slave labor, concentration camps, torture, rape, and forced abortions and sterilizations — all of which Uyghurs experience in Xinjiang. Got that?
ESPN would not comment on Adande’s statement despite numerous requests. Now, we can say for certain that ESPN did not mind his comparison.
Adande filled in for Michael Wilbon on PTI, ESPN’s flagship talk program, on Friday. The network chose Adande for the role over far more credible voices on the episode following Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Friday show with our longtime friend, J.A. Adande! 🎉 pic.twitter.com/zAqXfAQdTj— PTI (@PTI) June 3, 2022
ESPN sent a message to its employees the network does not begrudge those who spread CCP talking points and defend genocide. In fact, doing so could land you a fill-in role on the most-watched show at the network.
Here is what Fox & Friends co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy, one of the few independent voices on television, said in response to Adande’s comments:
“You know what our downfall is? If you really dig even deeper, what’s happening there, our universities, our elites, our corporations, many of our politicians — they have been captured by a complete strategy by the Chinese Communist government,” Campos Duffy said in February.
“The communist government has money that they dole out to get people like that to say things like that. No doubt that is the biggest problem we are facing now that there are people who lack so much patriotism, and love for this country, that they’re willing to take a check from the Chinese Communist government in order to dole out lies and cover for human rights abuses.”
Adande is an embarrassment. He cannot stay on topic during a rant on television and is uninformed about the social issues he injects into his commentary.
At the same time that Adande equated red-state voter laws to communism, the city in which Adande lives, Chicago, had required vaccination proof and ID to enter restaurants, bars, and gyms. For the record, Adande did not comment on this decision by Chicago.
Consider that the Medill School of Journalism employs Adande to direct its sports journalism division. We imagine Adande’s lesson plans go as follows:
“Explain to your classmates why asking for an ID to vote is worse than genocide but why Chicago is right to demand ID to enter bars. But no worries, no student will fail. Grades are racist.”
ESPN continues to lend credence to Sage Steele’s lawsuit against its parent company Disney. Steele’s lawsuit alleges that while ESPN/Disney took away her free speech rights, it has allowed other “talents” to break a company ban on discussing politics.
One could argue that deflecting human rights violations away from China onto the GOP is “political.” No?
The decision to use Adande falls on the shoulders of PTI EVP Erik Rydholm and ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro. They have refused to address Adande’s behavior and continue to use him in prominent roles. Rydholm and Pitaro are complicit in an ESPN host defending slave labor on-air.
What a week it has been for ESPN. In the past seven days, ESPN has elevated Jemele Hill-wannabe Mark Jones to the voice of the NBA Finals, defamed a 23-year-old college baseball player, and let CCP stooge J.A. Adande host its flagship program.