Top 10 Biggest ESPN Fails Of 2022

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It’s been a banner year at the “Worldwide Leader in Sports.” ESPN has spent another year pushing hardcore woke talking points and forcing more real sports fans to find alternatives to their heavily agenda-based sports programming.

Here at OutKick, we’re actually thankful for that. First, their constant fails are content gold for us. Second, more and more people come to OutKick every day, seeking refuge from the insanity.

To help close 2022, we compiled a list of the Top 10 biggest fails from ESPN in the past 12 months. To be honest, I started with the idea of doing a Top 5. But it became obvious, quickly, that five spots was not enough. Ten almost wasn’t either, but I made it work. Here we go!

ESPN’s J.A. Adande compares Georgia voting laws to Genocide in China

I know, we’re getting out of the gate strong here. But how do you not start with arguably the most ridiculous thing said on cable television in 2022. And that’s saying a lot, since CNN and MSNBC are also cable channels.

But using a sports talk show to rant about Georgia voting laws and comparing that to the mass murder of humans is the dumbest.

Not only is that comparison insane on its face — it’s also factually inaccurate. Georgia had record voting turnout in 2022 despite these “extremely oppressive” laws.

Sarah Spain calls Tampa Bay Rays players “bigots”

It wouldn’t be an ESPN list without someone name-calling a large group of people because they don’t subscribe to the narrative.

ESPN’s Sarah Spain fired off a scorching hot take calling players on the Tampa Bay Rays “bigots” because they didn’t want to wear a rainbow patch on their jerseys. It’s not enough to just “live and let live” anymore — if you don’t celebrate everyone’s choices, you’re a hateful bigot. That’s the world Sarah Spain lives in.

I feel bad for her, honestly. She’s an extremely miserable person. I know because I worked with her several times when I was at ESPN. It was not an enjoyable experience.

Although, that’s going to be a theme throughout this piece.

ESPN gets crushed by Little League World Series players, proceeds to make up fake racism scandal

Every year, ESPN broadcasts the Little League World Series. It’s the pinnacle of the sport for kids around the age of 12. Making it onto ESPN as pre-teen used to be something kids could only dream about.

But kids today are getting wise to ESPN’s insanity. Following a bad call in one of the games, an ESPN microphone caught one of the kids saying some unflattering things about their network.

“It’s for ESPN so they can come back. That’s because ESPN likes it, it’s all ESPN,” the player said to his team’s pitcher and coach.

At this point, ESPN could have taken a quick look in the mirror. Instead, they later used little leaguers to promote a racial hoax. Why? Because ESPN, that’s why.

Of course, the actual story had no racism whatsoever, but ESPN made up its mind and ran with it anyway.

We’re just three into a Top 10 of ESPN fails and we have already invoked genocide, bigotry and 12 year olds committing “racism.” Where do we go from here??

ESPN posts extremely anti-American column … on July 4th

Ah, yes. This is where we go from there. ESPN actually allowed one of its columnists to post an extremely offensive, anti-American propaganda piece on Independence Day.

Howard Bryant penned the ridiculous column, titled “Baseball, barbecue and losing freedom this Fourth of July.” Losing freedom? Yes, everyone knows that the United States of America in 2022 represents one of the least free, most oppressive regimes in human history.

That’s exactly why millions of people risk their lives to come to this country. They can’t wait to be oppressed! Despite living amazing lives in their home countries, they’re desperate to taste that sweet American oppression.

OutKick founder Clay Travis wasn’t having any of Bryant’s garbage and posted a scathing rebuke.

College GameDay selects Jack Harlow as ‘Guest Picker’ … for some reason

I figure you all need a break from ESPN’s political fails and just want some good, old-fashioned bad content.

It also plays into the LLWS story. You see, ESPN really wants young people to like them.

That’s why they selected Jack Harlow to be the guest picker on College GameDay. Keep in mind, this was the first big Saturday of the college football season.

He’s a rapper that I had never heard of. Lest you think I’m just old and out of touch, I’m only 33.

It went about how you would expect.

“We love it tho.” You see, old person, the kids can’t waste time typing out the word “though.” That’s for the Boomers, like us.

ESPN commentators cry and plead about abortion

I know, sorry. We have to go back to left-wing politics. We have to work with what ESPN gives us. And they give us a lot of political talk for a “sports” network.

This one was a doozy. The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, which put the power to decide abortion law back into the hands of the states. It did not ban abortion, as ESPN repeatedly implied. Even if it did, it still doesn’t seem like a topic that has much to do with sports.

Despite the lack of a sports connection, ESPN allowed one host to cut into programming and literally cry on the air.

“LeBron James retweeted Barack Obama” was enough of a sports tie-in to read his tweet on the air, huh?

Elle Duncan used ESPN’s set to post a video on her social media that called on “girl dads” to fight for their daughters to abort their unwanted fetuses.

Kobe Bryant referred to himself as a “girl dad” before he tragically died, so Duncan thought this was enough of a sports tie-in for her politically-charged message.

ESPN edits ‘God and Jesus’ out of quote given by a five-year-old child

It’s probably clear from the above fail that ESPN doesn’t fancy itself big fans of God or Jesus. But if you need more proof, they were happy to provide it.

Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs brought his 5-year-old son up to the podium with him during the preseason. His son gave an incredible quote that was shared across social media.

Nearly every media outlet reported the young child’s quote as is presented above by the Cowboys official Twitter. But not ESPN.

Had they ended his quote with ellipses, it would have at least implied that Aaiden had more to say. However, by putting a period on the end of his sentence, people might interpret that was the end of his quote.

And, for those who might be wondering: the tweet had more than enough remaining characters to share the quote in its entirety, making it look like an overt editorial decision.

But that decision should come as no surprise, especially based on everything else in this article.

ESPN gives extremely controversial commentator Mark Jones a contract extension

For a company that cries racism at almost every turn, it might be a surprise that ESPN would employ an outspoken racist. However, Mark Jones hates white people. And that’s just fine with the network.

Unlike other outlets that call people racist without any proof, we have the receipts that show Jones’ hatred for white people — or black people who aren’t “black enough.”

He hates Aaron Rodgers. Liked tweets that said Rush Limbaugh should “rot in hell” on the day of his death. Cheered when conservative-leaning athletes were seriously injured.

He tweeted, without any evidence, that police officers would try to shoot him because he’s black. Called Donald Trump a white supremacist terrorist.

He liked a tweet insinuating his colleague Stephen A Smith is a “coon” because he had the audacity to suggest we need more information on the Jerry Jones photo before passing judgment.

Those things got him rewarded with a brand new contract. Not only do they tolerate his comments, they support them with their money. Yikes.

Jalen Rose continues to be employed

Speaking of ESPN rewarding people for making ridiculous comments, Jalen Rose is definitely on the Mount Rushmore. Oops, saying that is racist, isn’t it Jalen?

Yeah, Jalen Rose tried to cancel Mount Rushmore. It didn’t work because America doesn’t agree with Rose or ESPN’s crazy takes.

ESPN Analyst, Jalen Rose continues to be rewarded by ESPN despite saying really ridiculous things.
ESPN analyst Jalen Rose continues to be rewarded by ESPN despite saying really ridiculous things. (Photo via Getty Images)

In another instance, Rose had to issue an incredibly awkward apology during halftime of an NBA game because he accidentally went afoul of the woke mob. Shame!

And, like Mark Jones, has lied on the air. Again, that doesn’t get you fired from ESPN. It provides “job security.”

Sorry, Mark. I’m sure you don’t like your name in the same sentence as “security.”

ESPN keeps persecuting Sage Steele

ESPN really likes outspoken, black talent. Well, as long as they’re outspoken in the correct way.

Sage Steele sued ESPN for its treatment of her. And in their attempt to get her lawsuit thrown out, the company essentially admitted to actively lowering her profile.

Why? Because Steele didn’t want to get the COVID vaccine. She supports diversity of thought.

ESPN allowed co-workers to refuse to work with Steele because they disagree with her rational and well-reasoned opinions.

That’s unacceptable at ESPN.

But because of that OutKick has 2023 to look forward to. ESPN will most certainly provide us with another year of amazing content and more and more sports fans will turn away from them and toward us.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, ESPN!

We couldn’t do what we do without you!


Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ

Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.

2 Comments

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  1. Top 10 wasn’t nearly enough so kudos to you for being able to limit yourself to just these gaffes. You could do a top 10 almost every week at this point and it would still be plenty loaded. They are turning into a clown show.

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