ESPN’s “Woke” Center really stepped into some deep muck again this week. Showing its true cop-hating colors, it tweeted the message that athletes should be as fearless as a highly controversial character on the HBO “Euphoria” program. That character is a 13-year-old boy who is not only a drug dealer, but also one who has killed two public safety officers.
Sunday’s SportsCenter tweet stated, “Name an athlete as fearless as this guy.” Beneath that message was a photo of actor Javon Walton, who played the role on “Euphoria” of a juvenile named Ashtray.
It just so happens that Ashtray, who in his short lifespan has led a life of drugs and violence and murdered two police officers. In Sunday’s season-ending episode, the violent Ashtray kills a rival drug dealer, then gets into a shootout with policemen. He shoots one cop before he is killed in the gunfight.
This is the type of athlete “Woke” Center claims America needs. The word “detestable” does not begin to describe the sick person who posted this vile message on behalf of the ESPN network.
Twitter responses rightfully blasted the despicable Tweet, and ESPN was forced yet again to apologize for not controlling its woke employees.
The Tweet was deleted Monday, and ESPN issued a public statement, saying, “The content posted was not in alignment with ESPN’s brand and we removed it.”
That pitiful ESPN response doesn’t come close to appropriate. It fails to apologize to the men and women wearing the blue, people who put their lives on the line every day in a culture that demonizes them and wants their funding dropped. It’s a destructive culture that ESPN is now on record as being party to.
A writer for The Spun blog, Daniel Bates said, “Unfortunately, while trying to engage with a younger audience, the meme just came across cringey and a bit out of touch.
“Don’t expect many more ‘Euphoria’ posts from ESPN for the time being.”
The blog Total Pro Sports described it this way: “ESPN’s ‘SportsCenter’ account has been doing its best to keep up with everything pop culture related and making it sports related to show how they are in tune with the youngsters. It failed in a big way on Monday.”
ESPN’s latest social media blunder ranks right down there with former “Woke” Center co-host Jemele Hill’s famous 2017 Tweet calling Donald Trump and his supporters “white supremacists.” She made that regrettable statement on her own Twitter account, but as a high-profile, on-air personality, it nonetheless cast a bad light on her ESPN employers. It resulted in the network trying to tamp down employees' political statements, and began Hill’s slide toward the network’s exit door.