Far-Left Nutjob Mark Jones Calling Game 7 Was a Bad Look for ESPN and NBA

On Sunday, viewers who tuned into Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals quickly heard a screeching sound. It was Mark Jones on the call.

ESPN moved Jones off the bench after lead NBA play-by-play commentator Mike Breen tested positive for COVID ahead of the game.

Unlike debate show bloviators, the lead voice on a Game 7 of the Conference Finals represents both the network and league. And showcasing far-Left dirtbag Mark Jones was a low for both ESPN and the NBA.

Jones is the sickest voice in sports. He’s nasty and disturbed. On Twitter, he retweets and likes posts that are actually racist.

Jones’ rise at ESPN, which culminated with a new contract and pay raise, coincides with the following events of the past two years:

 — Asserting that police are more likely to shoot black people dead than to escort them to safety. As a result, Jones tweeted that he planned to tell each white police officer to keep a distance from him at all future events.

— Mocking conservative athletes for suffering injuries.

— Sharing tweets of online users telling radio host Rush Limbaugh to “rot in hell” moments after Limbaugh’s wife announced in tears that her husband had died of lung cancer.

— Falsely reporting that police murdered the still-very-alive Jacob Blake during an NBA broadcast.

— Tying Aaron Rodgers to QAnon.

— “Twitter liking” the idea that Batman — the DC character — is racist.

Pathetic.

Even the NBA, the most political of all sports leagues, can’t enjoy having this type of figure calling one of its most-watched games of the season.

Allowing Jones to front a marquee playoff game signals that the NBA approves bigotry, hate and misinformation — all of which Jones spreads. 

Quite the look for the NBA.

What’s more, ESPN had a group of talented commentators to fill in for Breen on Sunday, such as Ryan Ruocco and Dave Pasch. And yet, ESPN chose the more polarizing, less talented Jones to call the game. Telling.

Jones has overachieved at ESPN through the virtue of fear. His bosses are afraid to enforce its no-politics ban on him at the risk of someone at Deadspin writing a predictable headline like, “ESPN silences black commentator for calling America racist.”

For this very reason, ESPN has enabled Jones to act recklessly. ESPN allows him to share far-Left talking points to prove to its critics that it won’t silence a minority commentator for spreading political messaging.

Except, of course, if that commentator is Sage Steele, who ESPN benched for answering questions about Barack Obama and the COVID vaccine last year.

In a way, Jones is a gift to Steele who is suing ESPN for violating her free speech rights. Her lawyers need only to reference Mark Jones’ past two years to prove how ESPN selectively enforces its ban on discussing politics.

Jones epitomizes the radicalized, exclusive environment that ESPN has instilled in its locker room.

Mark Jones often tweets about white privilege. But in reality, his entire career has been rooted in privilege.

Written by Bobby Burack

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

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