Michael Jordan was asked years ago, something to the effect of, "as THE most recognizable face in all of sports, why do you remain a-poltical?"
His response? "Republicans buy sneakers too."
Whether one agrees to Jordan's philosophy matters not... but his response is nevertheless no less significant as it relates to how ESPN has chosen to approach the modern-day cultural/political issues.
ESPN, as an organization, is obviously at liberty to maintain whatever company policy they want.
And the viewership, likewise, is at liberty to show their disapproval of their content by boycotting/tuning out the network, which has happened in recent months on an enormous scale.
This PR memo released to the public, at the very least, suggests that the company is reconsidering the direction with their content. Yet at the same time, I sense more of a "take it or leave it" mindset versus any real sincerity from the network to get back to the way they used to manage their non-political programming.
Mind you, this isn't just one-sided. Curt Shilling was another network personality who couldn't refrain from keeping his political viewpoints out of the public social media fray. After letting his opinion be known of the issue involving transgendered males being allowed in female restrooms via social media, Shilling was let go back in April of 2016. It's worth noting that his social media post didn't involve accusing (then) President Barrack Obama of "bigotry" and "black supremacy."
Then to compare his transgressions to Jemele Hill's public political tirade via social media a week ago, against the current administration via social media.. who undeniably disrespected the current President of the United States, labeling him as a "bigot" and "white supremacist"... with the network doing little more than putting out a press release that her viewpoints don't necessarily represent the network's?
Where is the consistency here? Mind you - I've no problem with Shilling's departure from the network. Company policy there has always dictated that political viewpoints stay out of the fray. Shilling violated company policy and was let go. That's fair play.
But what about Jemele Hill? Why does ESPN suddenly feel the need to protect an on-air personality's free speech, company policy be damned?
Do they honestly think that a majority of the average viewers, who don't want this political shit meandering into their sports-news programming, can't understand the biases involved?
May their ratings continue to plummet.