Those tuning in to ESPN for NBA Draft talk today got a whole lot more than that as host Malika Andrews began the program with a tearful condemnation of the Supreme Court for overturning Roe v. Wade.
Despite the network’s supposed ban on political talk, Andrews kicked things off by attempting to draw a contrast between the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Title IX on Thursday and Friday’s Supreme Court decision stating that abortion was no longer a federal issue.
On Roe v. Wade: pic.twitter.com/L9q9ufiWJJ
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) June 24, 2022
What any of that had to do with the Magic taking Paolo Banchero with the 1st overall pick is anyone’s guess. But of course, ESPN has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to make sports take a backseat to politics, which should surprise no one.
What is a little surprising, at least to me, is how brazenly ESPN anchors violate the “stick to sports” edict that ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro laid out when he took over. It’s one thing to have some discussion of politics in those few and far between instances when sports and politics intersect.
But what’s the intersection of the court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade and the NBA Draft?
If ESPN is going to proceed under the notion that any issue involving women makes it fair game for discussion on their network, even if it has no direct sports connection. Then there is virtually no limiting principle on political discussion and any direction from management to stick to sports is only there for show.
And ESPN seems perfectly okay with that.