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ESPN Addresses The 1 Criticism Of Its NFL Draft Coverage

A view inside ESPN The Party.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 05: A view of the logo during ESPN The Party on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for ESPN)

ESPN saw record numbers during coverage of the 2020 NFL Draft. But their coverage wasn't without some criticism.

Perhaps the biggest complaint that viewers had about ESPN's draft coverage was the near-constant highlighting of tragedies in the lives of the draftees. Everything from parents and siblings losing their lives to living family members who dealt with personal hardships was put on display in ways that made viewers increasingly uncomfortable.

Fortunately for ESPN, the players themselves didn't seem to mind having their stories told. But the fans are the ones who have been complaining the loudest.

Speaking to NBC Sports' Peter King, ESPN's Seth Markman said that the Worldwide Leader in Sports is aware of the criticism. He said that the intention wasn't to be a "Debbie Downer," but rather to show how players overcame adversity.

Via NBC Sports:

“I heard [the criticism],” Markman told King. “It’s not unfair. It’s something we should self-scout for the future, and it’s something we can examine. We didn’t want to be Debbie Downer, but we wanted to show how some of the players overcame major issues in their lives...”

But Markman is just stating the obvious there.

Everyone understood what ESPN was trying to do. The issue isn't that ESPN tried to humanize players. Rather, it's how they went about trying to squeeze every bit of drama out of their lives to try and bring us to tears.

Let the teams that draft the players determine how they want to tell their stories. And let's leave Draft Day to thorough analysis that gets the fans pumped to have them on their team.