ESPN has reportedly suspended NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski for sending an expletive in an email to Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.).
Wojnarowski’s suspension is without pay, reported Outkick, citing unnamed sources. It was unclear how long the suspension is for.
Wojnarowski admitted on Friday that he sent the two-word email to Hawley’s office, in response to a letter (pdf) in which Hawley asked NBA commissioner Adam Silver why players haven’t given the choice to wear messages supporting the U.S. military or law enforcement on their jerseys. Hawley also accused the NBA of appeasing the Chinese regime’s censorship demands in order to maintain its business relationship with China.
“If a player chooses to display a message of support for victims of the Chinese Community Party on their jersey, will the NBA allow the player to wear their jersey or will it censor that player in order to avoid drawing Beijing’s ire?” Hawley asked in the letter.
Wojnarowski apologized after Hawley posted a screenshot of the email on Twitter, writing, “Don’t criticize #China or express support for law enforcement to @espn. It makes them real mad.”
“I was disrespectful and I made a regrettable mistake,” Wojnarowski wrote on Twitter. “I’m sorry for the way I handled myself and I am reaching out immediately to Senator Hawley to apologize directly. I also need to apologize to my ESPN colleagues because I know my actions were unacceptable and should not reflect on any of them.”
ESPN also released a statement, calling Wojnarowski’s behavior “completely unacceptable.”
“It is inexcusable for anyone working for ESPN to respond in the way Adrian did to Senator Hawley,” the statement read. “We are addressing it directly with Adrian and specifics of those conversations will remain internal.”
Ironically, Wojnarowski has been a target of the Chinese Communist Party’s overseas censorship campaign. His Twitter account was swarmed by pro-China troll accounts in October 2019 after “liking” Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s Twitter post expressing support for Hong Kong protestors. He also lost “Woj in the House,” a bi-weekly Chinese basketball show broadcasted by Chinese internet company Tencent in partnership with ESPN.
Silver said in February that the NBA had lost “less than $400 million” in Chinese income, after China’s state-run television stopped broadcasting NBA games because of Morey’s pro-Hong Kong post. He told Forbes in an interview that he was optimistic about NBA fixing relationship with China but offered no timeline.
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Author: The Epoch Times | The Epoch Times
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