ESPN

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.”

By Matthew Sheffield | August 7, 2013 | 1:59 PM EDT

Former Philadelphia Eagles lineman and current ESPN commentator Hugh Douglas is in hot water for allegedly insulting his colleague Michael Smith with racial slurs while at a party last Friday in Orlando, Florida.

According to the sports blog Deadspin, Douglas has grown increasingly uncomfortable being paired with Smith and Jemele Hill as co-hosts of ESPN’s “Numbers Never Lie” statistics show as the only former athlete on the show.

By Noel Sheppard | July 24, 2013 | 6:40 PM EDT

The New York Times claimed last week that Keith Olbermann was given a new late night show on ESPN2 with the caveat that he not discuss politics.

Speaking to reporters at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour Wednesday, Olbermann denied this saying, "There's no such clause that said I could not talk about politics, there is no such clause referring to content about anything that we might do on the show."

By Tim Graham | July 14, 2013 | 8:21 AM EDT

President Obama played golf Saturday with ESPN "Pardon the Interruption" hosts Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon -- both former sports columnists for The Washington Post.

Not only that, ABCNews.com announced that on Friday, Wilbon, Kornheiser, and Tony Reali –host of ESPN’s “Around the Horn” and a long-time fact-checker for the other two ESPN hosts — ate lunch at the White House and visited with Obama in the Oval Office. As the Post reported (via AP) on Sunday:

By Matthew Philbin | March 20, 2013 | 11:58 AM EDT

If liberals in the sports media have their way, your favorite sporting event will soon be a little more like an episode of “Glee.” Writers and talking heads at outlets from ESPN to NBC Sports are in a full-court press. They want to see openly gay athletes in American sports, no matter what it means for the games, the fans, or the athletes themselves.

Perhaps envious that their news colleagues get to cover – and advocate for – what a Washington Post reporter recently called “the civil rights issue of our time,” sports journalists have been long been obsessed with gay athletes. Commentator after commentator have taken to ESPN’s website to assure us “the issue of sports and homosexuality isn't going away,” to call a football player “intelligent and articulate athlete when he made a stand for gay rights,” and to wonder where the gay Jackie Robinson is.

By Matthew Sheffield | March 4, 2013 | 12:03 PM EST

After a few months crying in the bathtub, disgraced left-wing television personality Keith Olbermann has crawled back out into public view in an effort to beg sports network ESPN to hire him back. 

Nothing has come of his efforts so far but the New York Times reports that Olbermann has at least been given a meeting with ESPN president John Skipper.

By Tom Blumer | January 19, 2013 | 12:06 PM EST

There were eight coaching changes in the National Football League during the past few weeks. It must be assumed in the absence of contrary evidence that each franchise's owners made their choice based on who they believe has the best chance to take their team to the playoffs and Super Bowl.

The "problem" is, according to league's human resource people (are those really full-time jobs?) and their eager supporters at the Associated Press and ESPN, all eight new coaches are white. As a result, barely four months after the league earned a "high diversity hiring grade" from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport ("its third consecutive A grade on racial hiring and its first C-plus for gender hiring"), the "Rooney Rule," which requires that teams interview at least one at least one minority candidate for head coaching and top managerial jobs, is not good enough (bolds are mine):

By Matthew Sheffield | January 9, 2013 | 9:45 AM EST

ESPN has parted ways with Rob Parker, a commentator for the sports network who caused a national controversy by saying that Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is “not one of us” and only “kind of black” because he is engaged to a white woman and is rumored to be a Republican.

Parker made those comments on December 13 and was suspended by ESPN for 30 days. Parker apologized for his remarks but has since defended them by saying he was taken “out of context.”

By Matthew Sheffield | December 14, 2012 | 2:02 PM EST

Cable sports network ESPN has suspended its commentator Rob Parker following his offensive racial tirade against Washington Redskins player Robert Griffin III. In a segment on yesterday’s First Take program, Parker said that the rookie quarterback was “not one of us” and that he was only “kind of black” because he is engaged to a white woman, is rumored to be a Republican, and has spoken in favor of racial neutrality, sentiments that the sports analyst derided as “cornball.”

“Following yesterday’s comments, Rob Parker has been suspended until further notice,” network spokesman Josh Krulewitz said in a statement. “We are conducting a full review.”

By Matthew Sheffield | December 14, 2012 | 1:32 AM EST

Update 14:23. Rob Parker has been suspended for his offensive remarks.

During the Thursday edition of the ESPN show First Take, analyst Rob Parker  injected racial issues into the game as he took a bitter swipe at Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, criticizing him for being engaged to a white woman and possibly being one of those evil, nasty Republicans.

“Is he a brother or a cornball brother?” Parker said. “He’s not really one of us. He’s kind of black, but he’s not really, like, the guy you want to hang out with.”