Veteran ESPN play-by-play man Mark Jones has been very outspoken in wake of the Breonna Taylor grand jury ruling in Louisville. He’s caught attention for some tweets about police brutality over the last few days.
“Police never saved me. Never helped me. Never protected me. Never taken a bullet for me,” he tweeted on Wednesday afternoon after the Taylor ruling was announced. “Never kept me safe in a protest. Never stopped the racist from taking my Black Lives Matter flag off my house. I could do without em.”
Today, he made another bold proclamation: Jones says he’ll take his police escort to the game he is set to call Saturday to “take the day off.” He says that he’d “rather not have the officer shoot me because he feared for his life because of my black skin or other dumb ish.”
His comments have obviously caused plenty of controversy online. He is set to call one of the more interesting games on Saturday, between ranked Cincinnati and Army teams. So far, ESPN has declined to comment on his comments according to Andrew Marchand from the New York Post.
ESPN declined comment on Mark Jones' tweet below. https://t.co/kCziXNOKpl
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) September 24, 2020
Jones’ tweets remain up, so it doesn’t look like anyone’s asked from him to back off of them yet. Obviously, it is a very touchy subject for the network.
The grand jury decision yesterday, which doesn’t charge any of the three police officers directly to the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, set off a firestorm, with protests around the country. It is certainly understandable that people like Jones are tired of seeing police who shoot unarmed, innocent Black people face no consequences for their mistakes. While ESPN has largely been open to its employees commenting about social justice causes, Jones’ comments are a bit more intense, and directly related to his job with ESPN.
At the same time, this is a deeply emotional moment for many across the country, and he has the right to feel the way that he does. He is certainly not alone in the senitment.
Mark Jones is scheduled to call Cincinnati vs. Army on ESPN at 3:30 p.m. ET this Saturday.