By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Adrian Wojnarowski is a respected NBA insider, who typically drops “Woj Bombs.” However, this time around, the veteran reporter was on the wrong side of the news.
Wojnarowski responded to Josh Hawley, a Republican Senator from Missouri, with an “f**k you” after Hawley wrote a letter to the league, criticizing their relationship with China. Hawley also asked why the league was just focusing on one social cause – and not others, like #BackTheBlue.
Hawley posted the screenshot of the email on social media to his Twitter account. He also said in the same message, “Don’t criticize #China or express support for law enforcement to @espn. It makes them real mad.”
“I was disrespectful and I made a regrettable mistake,” Wojnarowski. “I’m sorry for the way I handled myself and I am reaching out immediately to Senator Hawley to apologize directly. I also need to apologize to my ESPN colleagues because I know my actions were unacceptable and should not reflect on any of them.”
ESPN said that they are handling Wojnarowski’s discipline in-house.
“This is completely unacceptable behavior and we do not condone it. It is inexcusable for anyone working for ESPN to respond in the way Adrian did to Senator Hawley. We are addressing it directly with Adrian and specifics of those conversations will remain internal.”
The NBA is restarting this month and will have Black Lives Matter on the courts that they will be using in Orlando, Florida for their restart. In addition to Black Lives Matter on the court, players will be able to use approved messages on their jerseys that include Eqaulity, Black Lives Matter, Vode, and I Can’t Breathe.
None of the approved messages have any comments regarding China. The NBA has a huge money-making operation with China – which was damaged in 2019 following a tweet by Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey.
The letter that Hawley wrote to the league included whether “Free Hong Kong” should be included. He wrote that the league’s “free expression appears to stop at the edge of your corporate sponsors’ sensibilities.”
“The truth is that your decisions about which messages to allow and which to censor — much like the censoring decisions of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) — are themselves statements about your association’s values,” Hawley said in his letter. “If I am right — if the NBA is more committed to promoting the CCP’s interests than to celebrating its home nation — your fans deserve to know that is your view. If not, prove me wrong. Let your players stand up for the Uighurs and the people of Hong Kong. Let them stand up for American law enforcement if they so choose. Give them the choice to write “Back the Blue” on their jerseys. Or “Support our Troops.” Maybe “God Bless America.” What could be more American than that?”
Wojnarowski’s apology means nothing to Hawley. He wants to meet personally with ESPN CEO Jimmy Pitaro in Washington, D.C.
“My phone has been ringing off the hook with lobbyists from @espn, from @disney, the works,” Hawley said in a tweet. “
Let’s make this simple. I’m inviting ESPN CEO Jimmy Pitaro to Washington. My office. Let’s sit down and discuss ESPN, #China, the @NBA. Look forward to his response.”
Hawley wants an answer from the NBA. Yet, they have not responded to his inquiry.
Unfortunately, the billion-dollar operation may not answer them at all.
If they are focusing on one social matter that not everybody supports, why not support all causes since they are now supporting one to be equal? The league opened up a big can of worms by supporting one social matter.
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