ESPN

By Curtis Houck | September 4, 2014 | 8:30 AM EDT

Filling in for Alex Wagner on her MSNBC show Wednesday, Luke Russert had a segment on NFL player and defensive end Michael Sam, who was signed earlier in the day to the Dallas Cowboys after being released by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday. Russert opined that the reason there was a delay before Sam was signed by another team was not because of any media “distractions" or that he was not a good enough player, but it was “probably because he’s gay.”

In the first portion of the over five-minute-long segment, Russert cited reports from anonymous NFL general managers to two sports media outlets that teams wanted to sign Sam, but “fear[ed] the media attention” and “the circus coming to town” in additional media. [See video below]

By Tom Johnson | August 23, 2014 | 7:10 AM EDT

The ESPN-affiliated, Bill Simmons-run website Grantland, which specializes in sports and popular culture, claimed on Friday that Fox News Channel is a major source of what Simmons calls “unintentional comedy” (or maybe "subconscious comedy" would be more accurate).

In a feature about the history and influence of Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” segment, Grantland staff writer Brian Phillips opined that “the structure of Fox News is so deeply and basically comic that it’s impossible not to read it into the tradition of news satire” and that “like ‘Weekend Update,’ Fox succeeded by taking the elements of a normal news broadcast and exaggerating them to ludicrous proportions.”

By Kristine Marsh | July 23, 2014 | 3:50 PM EDT

It’s open season. Since the media attacked former NFL coach and NBC sports analyst Tony Dungy for saying he wouldn’t have picked openly gay player Michael Sam during the draft, the sports media now has its pitchforks and torches out for anyone in the NFL guilty of thought crimes. ESPN and CBS  are going after David Tyree, a former New York Giants wide receiver (who’s miraculous “helmet catch” gave the team victory in Super Bowl XLII), who was just hired as Giants Director of Player Development. 

Tyree’s sin: he’s an open Christian and supporter of traditional marriage. 

By Matthew Philbin | June 11, 2014 | 11:06 AM EDT

What do you suppose it costs to run a 60-second ad in major markets during the NBA playoffs on ABC? And can you think of something better to do with the “significant investment” a California Indian tribe has made than to register disapproval of a sports mascot?

The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation isn’t saying how much it paid for the spots, airing in New York, D.C., Chicago, Dallas, L.A. San Francisco, Sacramento and Miami. It is saying that it ponied up for the anti-Redskins ad because, “It’s just a time to get people thinking about putting an end to outward hatred and using sports as a tool to focus on racism,” according to tribe spokesman Marshall McKay. Video after the jump.

By Tom Blumer | May 31, 2014 | 4:28 PM EDT

I guess the PC sports press was hoping for a high-tech lyching of sorts, wherein Donald Sterling, the owner in limbo who is soon to be former owner of the National Basketall Association's Los Angeles Clippers, would be frog-marched out of his office and dumped onto Skid Row, never to be heard from again, for his undeniably racist remarks to his now ex-girlfriend about how he didn't want her bringing blacks to Clippers games while directing racial invective at other specific persons.

It's not working out that way. In fact, quite the opposite. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is reportedly paying $2 billion for the Clippers. That's quite a windfall for Sterling, considering that he apparently paid about $12.5 million for the team in the early 1980s and that the team was valued at about $575 million in the most recent related edition of Forbes. At Huffington Post and ESPN, Earl Ofari Hutchinson and Scoop Jackson, respectively, are almost beside themselves.

By Matthew Philbin | May 7, 2014 | 12:21 PM EDT

If an NFL team ends up taking Michael Sam in a late draft round – or not at all – don’t blame the media. The Missouri defensive end came out of the closet to near universal media adulation (coincidentally timed with the NFL Combine in February). Now, with the draft looming on May 8, ESPN and ABC are doing their parts to make sure Sam is picked.

ESPN announced May 7 that it’s bestowing Sam with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. The ceremony doesn’t take place until July, but it’s never too early to remind NFL coaching staffs that Sam had the courage to join society’s most trendy and celebrated grievance group.

By Jeffrey Meyer | February 27, 2014 | 4:07 PM EST

ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser decided it was appropriate to make a disgusting analogy when discussing the now-vetoed Arizona SB 1062 bill during his daily “Pardon The Interruption” program on Wednesday February 26.

During the segment, Kornheiser and co-host Michael Wilbon railed against the Arizona bill, with Kornheiser arguing that the bill mirrored how the Nazi’s treated Jewish individuals during World War II. The ESPN host disgustingly shrieked that “now if you have this with gay people. How are they supposed to be identified? Should they wear a yellow star because my people went through that at one point?” [See video below.]

By Matthew Philbin | February 11, 2014 | 3:02 PM EST

Feel that? Something “historic” and “important” just happened. It might even be a “teachable moment,” and it’s certainly therapeutic. Why, liberals will be able to like their country just little bit more. Come on people, feel the love! 

A potential fourth round NFL draft pick has declared his “own truth,” and come out as gay. Having taken the “courageous” step of joining society’s most trendy and celebrated grievance group, Missouri defensive end Michael Sam is now basking in the media adulation.

By Randy Hall | December 16, 2013 | 10:22 PM EST

During most segments of First Take, a weekday program aired on the ESPN sports network, the discussion focuses on a wide variety of topics ranging from football to basketball and even golf. However, on Friday morning, co-host Stephen Smith addressed the subject of race-related politics.

Responding to a feud between Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown and Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant regarding their knowledge of the black culture in the U.S., Smith declared:  “It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever” that black conservatives “are considered pariahs and are ostracized in our communities.”

By Randy Hall | November 8, 2013 | 12:03 PM EST

Just when it seemed that the biggest controversies in football consisted of the Washington Redskins being criticized for having a “racial” team name and the Miami Dolphins dealing with accusations of bullying by suspended guard Richie Incognito, along comes ESPN analyst Kevin Blackistone, who charged on Wednesday that the “Star-Spangled Banner” is nothing short of a “war anthem” that should not be played before any sports event.

During a segment of the cable television network's Around the Horn weekday program, the frequent guest also stated that the national anthem was first played “in the World Series back in 1917” and asserted “it's time for people to back away” from the beloved song.

By Tom Blumer | October 5, 2013 | 4:04 PM EDT

Never mind the government shutdown. What's really important in Obamaland is apparently whether football's Washington Redskins keep their Redskins team nickname.

The Associated Press's Julie Pace, with help from Joseph White and Darlene Superville, has an 880-word writeup on this breathtakingly important subject. Too bad the entire premise — that Indians "feel pretty strongly" about mascots and team names that depict negative stereotypes about their heritage," and that the "Redskins name is one such negative stereotype — is false, based on results reported by ESPN columnist Rick Reilly in September. First, a few AP excerpts (bolds are mine):

By Matthew Sheffield | August 13, 2013 | 3:40 PM EDT

Sports cable channel ESPN has fired commentator Hugh Douglas for his alleged behavior at a convention for journalists where he showed up drunk at two public events and insulted a black colleague in gross racial terms.

According to several published reports, Douglas became angry at Michael Smith, his former co-host, insulting him as a “house n-----” and an “Uncle Tom.”