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Woj “FU” Email Illuminates Far Left Wing Sports Media Hypocrisy

On Friday morning Missouri Senator Josh Hawley shared a letter he’d sent to NBA commissioner Adam Silver with the sports media. The letter addressed a glaring hypocrisy: NBA players are making pre-approved political statements on the backs of their jerseys, but none of those statements address the billions of dollars the NBA is pocketing from China, which presently has concentration camps for Muslims and just stripped away all democracy in Hong Kong.

You can read his letter here. (I’d also encourage you to go listen to Senator Hawley and I discuss why the NBA’s relationship with China is an important metaphor for the larger United States-China relationship. Seriously, this is a good conversation we recorded this morning, go listen to it.)

This glaring NBA hypocrisy should be a massive story, at least if the media charged with covering the NBA was actually doing its job. The NBA is permitting players to make political statements on their jerseys, but only if those political statements, which have been pre-approved by the NBA, provide no risk to the league.

That’s a monstrous hypocrisy, one the national media covering the NBA should address, especially in the wake of NBA commissioner Adam Silver expressing “mutual respect” for China’s values last week. Values which, it’s worth noting, include putting religious minorities in concentration camps, forced sterilization, zero freedom of speech or basic human rights, and as of this week, going to libraries and pulling books off the shelves in Hong Kong that write favorably about democracy. If that sounds familiar, it should, it’s straight out of the authoritarian dictatorship playbook, the third Reich comes to Beijing.

Given that China has now eliminated the democratic rule of law in Hong Kong and is arresting protesters and putting them in jail, potentially for years, the NBA’s October apologies to China after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey retweeted “Free Hong Kong,” has never been more relevant.

Any reporter worth his or her salt — none of whom are evidently employed by ESPN — might be wondering about the NBA’s political statements on jerseys embarrassingly leaving out China. One might even surmise, fairly, that exclusion has to do with China paying the NBA billions of dollars in blood money. The message is clear, if you pay the NBA enough money, they don’t care about concentration camps or basic human rights. They’ll shut up and dribble as long as the Chinese check clears.

What’s more, Senator Josh Hawley didn’t just come up with this idea this week, he actually traveled to Hong Kong to witness the protests first hand in October. So he’s asking questions about which he’s directly familiar, holding a multi-billion dollar company accountable for their hypocrisies, speaking truth to power, which is what we want our politicians to do.

Yet two minutes after the email was sent out, an email which directly deals with the NBA’s present political decisions, ESPN’s lead NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski fired back, “Fuck you,” from his official ESPN email address.

Think about this for a minute, the lead NBA reporter for ESPN responded to a United States senator’s letter to the commissioner of the league he covers not by reading the letter and realizing the senator was raising very real issues reflective of the league’s hypocrisy, but by immediately sending back an expletive-laced response from his corporate email address.

While Wojnarowski is certainly entitled to his own political opinions, how can ESPN allow this? How can anyone believe Woj is an objective reporter now? He’s not a reporter, he’s a league mouthpiece. That might be fine if Woj just shared his opinions, but he doesn’t, he’s the foremost NBA news breaker in the company.

He is, in other words, paid by ESPN to be a journalist.

This wasn’t a highly calculated response, it was a flippant and disrespectful message intended to demonstrate how little Wojnarowski cares about the blatant hypocrisy of the league he covers.

It also provides us yet another window into the far left wing politics practiced at ESPN.

When I say that ESPN might as well be MSESPN or SportsCenter should be renamed WokeCenter, this is why the accusation lands so heavily — because it’s not hyperbole — I’m 100% right.

ESPN is such a one-sided political organization that open contempt for half the country is permitted, heck, it’s even encouraged. Wilder still, ESPN is just an exaggerated version of an overall issue in sports media in general. Consider this fact, nearly half of America voted for Donald Trump in 2016.

Yet not a single on air talent at ESPN, Fox, CBS, or NBC has publicly admitted to doing so. What’s more, not one sportswriter employed by a national news organization has admitted to voting for Trump either.

Not one!

That’s because there is no balance in sports media, everyone isn’t just left wing, they are all far left wing. And that far left wing perspective has so stifled commentary that left wingers are free to announce their political opinions as loudly and frequently as they like, but conservatives are forced to stay silent lest they lose their jobs.

ESPN — as well as Fox, NBC and CBS — certainly have Republican employees — many of them reach out to me regularly — but none of them are comfortable saying so publicly. Heck, if you ask for Fox News to be put on in Bristol, you might as well go ahead and sign your walking papers.

Don’t believe me? Look at the roster of sports media members from a variety of news organizations who publicly Tweeted their support for Woj’s actions. That is, these “journalists” were fine with an employee paid to cover a pro sports league responding by writing “Fuck you,” to a politician raising clear issues of hypocrisy in the league he covers.

ESPN’s Maria Taylor, whose pinned Tweet is a picture of her alongside Barack Obama with the caption, “My life has been made,” Tweeted:

Would any ESPN employee feel comfortable making their pinned Tweet a picture with Donald Trump?

Ha, of course not.

Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde said:

Really, Pat?

If your company sent out a critical article to a league and the commissioner emailed back, “Fuck you,” from a league email address you wouldn’t immediately cover it as news?

Just stop with that argument.

Yahoo’s Charles Robinson said:

So you can respond to any email from a politician by simply writing back, “Fuck you?”

Senator Hawley’s letter is directly addressing the NBA’s hypocritical political statements and the recent comment by the league commissioner.

And as a journalist you aren’t troubled by this being sent from a company email immediately upon receiving it?

Of course Jemele Hill also weighed in.

There were many, many more Tweets from sports media members defending Woj for his email, but what you’ll note is all of these people share Woj’s politics. They don’t just hate Donald Trump, they hate Republicans and aren’t willing to even extend them the basic decency of ignoring an email that upsets them.

No, they have to respond to it with an expletive.

At work.

From a company email address.

So let’s just play a little thought experiment here. What if the email had been sent by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, aka AOC, who raised the exact same issues about the NBA’s response to Hong Kong protesters? And what if Woj had immediately responded, “Fuck you,” to her?

There’s a good chance he would have been fired.

You know it, I know it, everyone reading this column right now knows it.

I’m not advocating for firing anyone for an email that expresses their true opinions. Never have, never will. The same should hold true for Tweets, Instagram and Facebook posts, you name it. We have to stop canceling people just because we disagree with what they say. Cancel culture, which has been wielded as a weapon by the far left wing in this country for years, is not healthy for our country, period.

But the reason why Woj felt like he could respond to Senator Hawley’s office like he did is because in 2016 ESPN employees donated 100x as much money to Hillary Clinton as to Donald Trump. He knows he can say whatever he wants to a Republican and there will be no consequences.

Zero.

Oh, I know, Woj apologized and ESPN said his actions were unacceptable, but nothing else happened. Indeed, most of the media, which agrees with Woj and hates Republicans, didn’t even cover the contretemps. And there wasn’t a single article ripping Woj anywhere on the entire sports Internet save on Outkick.

Not one anywhere else!

That’s because there is no actual marketplace of ideas in sports media. There’s a marketplace of left wing ideas and then a marketplace of far left wing ideas. Anything other than left wing is labeled “alt right,” in sports media. Hell, I’m alt right and I’ve never even voted for a Republican for president. Whitlock’s labeled alt right and he doesn’t even vote.

Now some of you might be saying, why does this far left wing bias in sports matter? And it’s a fair question. It matters because without a robust marketplace of ideas you end up with mob rule. Which is what we have right now in sports media. We have far left wing media members who attack a guy like Drew Brees when he says he stands for the national anthem to honor his two grandfathers who fought actual Nazis — as opposed to labeling people Nazis on social media because they disagree with you — and completely ignored actual anti-Semitism from Desean Jackson.

There was far more criticism of Drew Brees for saying he believed it was disrespectful to kneel for the national anthem than there was for Desean Jackson sharing actual anti-Semitism.

Worse, the sports media didn’t even cover Malcolm Jenkins, who has received tens of millions of dollars from NFL owners and posted a video of himself crying after Drew Brees talking about standing for the anthem, saying anti-Semitism wasn’t his problem and was a distraction from black issues.

Can you imagine the reaction if a white player said black lives matter wasn’t his issue and distracted from white problems?

He’d never be able to play in the league again.

These sports media members would write hundreds of articles about that player, Twitter would be in an uproar.

Yet Malcolm Jenkins says anti-Semitism isn’t his problem and is a distraction and it’s crickets from the sports media.

People get mad at me online because I challenge their thinking, am skeptical of conventional wisdom and don’t embrace dogmas. We do the same thing here at Outkick. We treat everyone the same, white, black, Asian, Hispanic, gay, straight, religious or not, born here or born elsewhere.

That’s because we do something radical on this website, we espouse equality and we live up to that standard by treating everyone equally every single day.

Radical, indeed.

Yet we are the only sports site on the entire Internet that does this.

If Outkick didn’t exist, there would be no one sharing our perspective. Not at traditional and “mainstream” sports sites for sure.

That’s a big deal because America doesn’t solve problems with mobs who all have the exact same opinion, that’s what totalitarian dictatorships do. And that’s what the sports media is right now, a far left wing totalitarian dictatorship.

Agree with us, or else.

We’re different, we don’t expect you to agree with everything we say on this site.

Welcome to Outkick, the only website where free speech is still allowed on the sports Internet.

If you only want far left wing pablum, stick to ESPN and their sports media cohorts, but if you want to have your existing beliefs challenged and think for yourself, bookmark this site.

And if you don’t bookmark the site and come read us regularly?

“Fuck you.”

We’re still going to dominate.

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is an author, radio show host, lawyer, TV analyst, and the founder of OutKick (formerly known as Outkick the Coverage).
Read More about Clay >>

16 Comments

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  1. It is sad that personal politics/agendas are clearly driving what is being covered as well and the actual sentiment of the coverage. When you come away knowing how the author “feels” clearly journalism has been left out of the equation. I know we are looking at sports in this context, but really a microcosm for all things news/media these days.

    I truly appreciate having Outkick with you, Jason, and your other writers to counter-balance the one sided narrative, ensuring real stories and altering view points are given proper attention.

    Wonder what the likes of Edward R. Murrow or Walter Cronkite would think of today’s climate.

    • Edward R. Murrow didn’t care much for Walter Cronkite. Murrow was the last of a line of great journalists. Cronkite was revered because he was on the air for a long time, but he was the beginning of what we have today.

      There are very, very few good reporters out there today. You have to find them and lock in on them. Outkick has two of the best.

  2. This is a fantastic column. Sums up sports “journalism” in 2020. The difference between the sports media and the news media is that, somehow, sportswriters are even more left than news reporters and sportswriters are some of the dumbest, yet most self-righteous people on the planet.

  3. this is nothing but a attempt by the far left to to try and defeat President Trump. they will stop at nothing. Destruction of the economy with corona fear no problem! Abolishing the constitution and everything our founding fathers were willing to die for no problem! This is the greatest country on earth because ANYONE that is willing to work hard has the opportunity to achieve whatever they desire in this country! GOD BLESS THE USA!!

  4. Great article by Clay. Points out the hypocrisy of the far-left in sports media. Instead of working as real reporters, they are all political pundits at this point. If any person in sports media who’s a conservative acted like Woj to a democrat senator, not only will they get fired, but almost all their left wing colleague would not only call them out but share negative stories about them and try to ruin their lives.

  5. What if the CCP sat on the Wuhan Flu knowledge to re-enable them to do what they did to Hong Kong much easier than they would have been able to otherwise? Would we really put it past them to do something that major just to get their way with one city, as important and [formerly, not for much longer under communist rule] rich as it may be?

  6. The fact that the NBA is making cause statements part of its message is equally absurd. The best way to deal with ESPN, the NBA and NFL is to turn it off which turns off the $$$$. I’d say WNBA, but no one watches that anyway – not much chance to reduce that audience.

  7. If I had the money I would start my own sports network and it would be the most successful on air right now. The basis of the network would be sports all the time. No political talk or sjw causes. If you want to do that go work/watch the other networks. People want to watch sports to get away from all the noise, but here we are getting it shoved down our throats constantly.

  8. CLAY Its not Republicans versus Democrats its freedom and democracy vs communism. BLM is linked to communism. Its all part of the bigger picture to get reed of Trump. He’s in the way of letting billions from China come to USA. Look at all the corporate sponsors that gave money to BLM millions .They all wont the money. NBA is one of many corporation who will destroy America for Chinese $$$$$. No one can defend these practices by NBA another American corporation
    When Question. All They Can Say Is Fuck You America P. S Clay high ranking Republican hate Trump he’s Populist America First

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