Britt McHenry, one of the roughly 100 ESPN employees laid off in April, has become a vocal conservative on social media this summer. She has publicly criticized Colin Kaepernick for not standing for the national anthem and expressed support for President Trump and the repeal Obamacare. Unfortunately, her story and eventual firing shows ESPN’s lack of tolerance for conservative ideas.
The Washington Post reported that, while working at ESPN, McHenry had been advised to hide her political opinions and delete the word ‘conservative’ from her Twitter biography. Following her firing, she even suggested in a now-deleted tweet that she was fired for being a conservative. Even more chillingly, McHenry suggests that conservative perspectives are not represented in sports media at all, even beyond ESPN.
The Washington Post also noted that ESPN has a policy encouraging employees to avoid politics, including on social media. Unfortunately, that is not universally enforced. For example, ESPN fired Curt Schilling for posting an anti-transgender bathroom meme on his Facebook page, but did not do the same to Rachel Nichols after expressing left-wing positions on the same issue on air (which reaches all of ESPN’s audience, not just one individual’s followers).
2nd Vote has previously reported that a large part of ESPN’s financial woes that resulted in the layoffs was due to viewers turning off ESPN because of its politics and promotion of figures like Michael Sam in lieu of actual sports coverage. 2nd Vote’s research also has found that ESPN’s parent company, Walt Disney funds Girls Inc, a pro-abortion organization, and supports CERES, a liberal environmental group. Click here to see all of ESPN’s positions on the issues.