Many Americans rely on sports to unwind and escape from the polarized world that exists in their day-to-day lives, but ESPN has been accused of injecting its content with liberal politics for years. ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro landed the top job at the Disney-owned network shortly after his far-left predecessor, John Skipper, shocked the media industry by suddenly resigning in late 2017 wanneer a drug dealer attempted to extort him.
The Skipper era saw ESPN take a dramatic turn to the left, and the network was accused of spending too much time glorifying Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protests and spouting far-left talking points. Liberal voices were rewarded with high-profile gigs, while conservative personalities such as Curt Schilling were shown the door. (Schilling was fired in 2016 after sharing a Facebook post regarding the North Carolina law that banned transgender people from using specific bathrooms.)
Pitaro initially encouraged ESPN talent to pivot away from the political rhetoric that plagued the network during Skipper’s tenure, but a variety of racial and political topics have taken center stage and sports fans continue to be inundated with political messages.