ESPN’s new president, Jimmy Pitaro, made headlines earlier this week when he commented on the network’s view on discussing politics.
The Worldwide Leader’s president, who replaced John Skipper, stated that the evidence clearly states that ESPN’s viewers don’t want to hear about politics while watching the network.
“Without question our data tells us our fans do not want us to cover politics,” Pitaro told the LA Times. “My job is to provide clarity. I really believe that some of our talent was confused on what was expected of them. If you fast-forward to today, I don’t believe they are confused.”
It’s unclear what exactly ESPN views as “politics” – for example, would discussing Colin Kaepernick’s status with the NFL count? – but Pitaro didn’t go into further detail.
Jemele Hill, who got in trouble at ESPN for tweeting about politics, and is no longer with the network, weighed in on Pitaro’s comments.
“Those social media rules, which I clearly violated, were always in place,” Hill told The Post. “There were certain rules and guidelines that we were told to follow before Jimmy Pitaro got there. We all were aware of them. It may be a situation that rules that were on the books are just being emphasized more. This idea that ESPN is that different, I think, is a false narrative.”
In column, I spoke to Jemele Hill about ESPN and the politics. Also, a bunch of people off the record. https://t.co/eJUwfd1PoV
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) May 23, 2019
Hill is no longer with the network and now writes about politics and other things for The Atlantic.