Failing ESPN continues to tank as anchor, Jemele Hill, keeps her job in the midst of a Twitter scandal. Why is Hill’s job in question? The tweet, which has since been removed, claimed that President Donald Trump was a, “white supremacist,” and that his cabinet (which features a black man, an Indian woman, an Asian woman, and multiple Jewish people) was, “largely…white supremacists.”
Enter Linda Cohn
Linda Cohn, ESPN anchor of over 20 years, said on the Bernie and Sid Show that ESPN overpaid some sports leagues (NBA in particular) in addition to losing sight of what their “core” group of listeners wanted. In response to Cohn’s comments, President of ESPN, John Skipper, told her not to come to work that day. Cohn has worked with ESPN for over twenty years.
Jemele Hill not only kept her job after her tweets, but she didn’t serve any suspension. ESPN’s only reaction to her tweet was a scripted response sent out by their offices. You can find ESPN’s statement and Hill’s original tweets here.
How can Cohn be reprimanded for what she said on a WABC show (which you can find here) and Hill face no repercussions for what she tweeted to over 600,000 people? Principally it doesn’t add up- where is the line in the sand?
Enter Sarah Sanders
In a press conference held on Sept. 13, Whitehouse press secretary, Sarah Sanders, answered the media on the matter and claimed that what Hill said, “is outrageous… and a fireable offense by ESPN.” Sanders’s comments are devastating for the sports network’s PR as failing ESPN continues to tank.
As the self-proclaimed worldwide leader in sports, ESPN would probably love to just be in that arena, but it seems that is not the case. Curt Schilling, Doug Adler, and Linda Cohn have all either been fired by ESPN or have been suspended for comments they made both online and on-the-air.
If failing ESPN continues to tank we will see the rise of another “worldwide leader in sports.” In the wake of all of ESPN’s PR mishaps and seemingly unjust treatment of employees, I wonder how members of the media can continue to have personal social media to express their opinions. It is painfully ironic for media members to be on all forms of social, but have their personal opinions suppressed by their employer. How will ESPN and other big media companies face similar social media PR struggles?