Saturday, April 29, 2017

Sports Personalities Slinging Mud After ESPN Layoffs

The massive ESPN staff chop has spawned strong opinions about who did and did not deserve to remain at the network.

Jeff Pearlman
Stephan A Smith
According to The NY Post, former Sports Illustrated writer Jeff Pearlman used Stephen A. Smith as the face of the problem with ESPN’s layoffs — and the industry as a whole. In an essay, which specifically noted it was not Smith’s “fault” that he is paid exponentially more than anyone who was fired this week, Pearlman decried the state of a society that values highly paid screamers more than well-reported stories.

Despite all the backhanded compliments Smith received, you knew the “First Take” host would not let it stand without a retort.

“Mr. Pearlman’s not black, maybe that’s why he doesn’t understand where I’m coming from,” Smith said, in comments transcribed by The Big Lead.

Kirk Minihane
Jemele Hill
“Maybe that’s why he’s so quick to talk about what I have deserved. I gave ya’ll my resume. I transferred from newspaper to television, from television to television and radio. I’ve done this. My credentials speak for themselves. I’m so sick and tired of people coming at me. If you want to talk credentials, name the time and place. Tell me what level I didn’t work on.”

Another noteworthy journalist battle that has spilled out in the wake of ESPN’s layoffs has nothing to do with standards or the direction of the business. It was personal. WEEI 93.7 FM Boston  host Kirk Minihane — best known nationally for calling Erin Andrews a “gutless b—h” — called out “SportsCenter” host Jemele Hill for being allowed to stay on at ESPN.

“If I lost my job at ESPN today and knew this dogs–t show with Jemele and Michael Smith still existed I’d lose my mind,” Minihane wrote on Twitter.

Hill was suspended by ESPN in 2008 for harsh comments she made about Boston that played off the city’s racist reputation. It’s unclear if that is the source of Minihane’s anger or he just really hates the new 6 p.m. SportsCenter.

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