ESPN Declines To Comment on Jalen Rose's On Air Lies About Jacob Blake

A Wisconsin jury found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on all five criminal charges on Friday. And for some reason, ESPN's NBA pregame show built a planned segment around the verdict hours later. ESPN then failed to get the facts right.

During the conversation, Jalen Rose said that the police shot and killed an innocent Jacob Blake, whom the riot at which Rittenhouse shot three men started over.

Here are Rose's comments:

First, the police did not kill Jacob Blake. Blake is alive. Moreover, the police did not commit a crime when they shot Blake.

On August 23, 2020, police arrived at a Kenosha scene after a woman whom Blake had sexually assaulted called the police on him. Once police arrived, Blake had a knife in his possession, refused to drop it, and then police shot him.

Remember, Blake himself admitted to police that he was armed with a knife when he was shot. "Yeah, I had my knife," Blake responded when asked about the shooting.

Interestingly, this is at least the third time that an ESPN personality has lied about Jacob Blake.

In April, ESPN's Mark Jones interrupted a live NBA game and said the police shot Blake while unarmed. Because ESPN refused to acknowledge Jones' lies after several media requests, it happened again.

Only three weeks later, Adrian Wojnarowski spread this same lie about Blake in a column that ESPN edited, posted, and promoted on its home page:

Outkick asked ESPN for a comment on Rose’s blatant lies during their broadcast tonight. ESPN declined to comment.

Keep in mind, ESPN plans NBA Countdown well before it airs, with organized talking points for the co-hosts. How is it possible the producers had time to build graphics for this discussion yet no one on the entire NBA TV team could inform Rose that Blake was still alive?

This is an egregious programming failure across all parts of the network, particularly considering how tense the country is now and how many people will never know the truth. ESPN should have never devoted a segment to this story — it isn’t remotely a sports story at this point — but if they are going to do so the absolute least they can do is manage to get the basic facts correct. The network owes the entire country an apology.


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Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics.. Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.