Showing posts with label ESPN. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ESPN. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Watch Brian Flores’ full ESPN interview on suing the NFL, Dolphins, Giants & Broncos

Watch Brian Flores’ full interview on ESPN about filing a lawsuit against the NFL and three teams (Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos and New York Giants) that alleges racism in hiring practices.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Alpha Phi Alpha partners with ESPN to raise money for cancer research

For the second year, Alpha Phi Alpha is teaming with ESPN and the V Foundation for Cancer Research to drive awareness and support for the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund.

Stuart Scott, an Alpha Phi Alpha brother, was committed to advancing cancer research and as his Alpha brothers, we are honored to be a part of his continuing legacy to help others.

Stuart was a champion for cancer research and he was especially driven to improve outcomes for minorities disproportionally affected by the disease.

Through the Stuart Scott Fund, the V Foundation has invested more than 12.7 million dollars in grants that are designed to support the work of minority scientists and research that is dedicated to finding therapeutic treatments and positive outcomes for African Americans and other minority populations. Today, Stuart's legacy lives on in this fund.

Visit for more information.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Statements from Maria Taylor and Maria ESPN on Taylor leaving the network

ESPN and Maria Taylor jointly announced today that after much discussion, an agreement on a contract extension could not be reached. As a result, Maria’s last assignment for ESPN was last night’s NBA Finals telecast. Comments from Jimmy Pitaro and Maria Taylor:

Comment from Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, ESPN and Sports Content
“Maria’s remarkable success speaks directly to her abilities and work ethic. There is no doubt we will miss Maria, but we remain determined to continue to build a deep and skilled talent roster that thoroughly reflects the athletes we cover and the fans we serve. While she chose to pursue a new opportunity, we are proud of the work we’ve done together.”

Comment from Maria Taylor:
So thankful to Jimmy and all of my great teammates and friends at the SEC Network, College GameDay, Women’s and Men’s college basketball, and the NBA Countdown family — the people who believed in me, encouraged me, pushed me, and lifted me up.  Words are inadequate to express my boundless appreciation, and I hope to make them proud.”

Thursday, July 08, 2021

National Association of Black Journalists wants meeting with ESPN over Maria Taylor/Rachel Nichols issue

The National Association of Black Journalists released the following statement on the developing situation between ESPN, Rachel Nichols and Maria Taylor.

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is outraged to read reports in The New York Times and other publications that uncover a toxic ESPN culture that appears to promote bias.

According to the Times, a white sideline reporter and host of “The Jump,” Rachel Nichols, was recorded inferring that Maria Taylor, a qualified, talented Black journalist, analyst, and host of “NBA Countdown,” was only in her position because ESPN was “feeling pressure about (its) crappy longtime record on diversity.” Nichols issued an apology earlier this week and yesterday it was announced that her role as NBA Finals sideline reporter was given to Malika Andrews, who is Black.

Nichols’ comments and the actions that followed over the last year were not only disappointing but disparaging given the ongoing reports by Black journalists of white men advancing at ESPN because of their skin tone and not by merit. ESPN’s response to the matter was even more appalling, as the Times has documented what appears to be an attempt by ESPN to sweep the matter under the rug until it was recently exposed in greater detail. The company’s actions could have alienated Taylor and left another Black employee punished for exposing the matter.

According to some reports, the last time the matter was addressed on record was in a statement ESPN issued to Yahoo Sports in July 2020 that did not address the racial insensitivity on display: “We are extremely disappointed about the leak of a private conversation. It’s indefensible and an intrusion on Rachel’s privacy. As for the substance of the conversation, it is not reflective of our decision-making on staffing assignments for the NBA, which has largely been driven by the circumstances of the pandemic.”

“The NABJ Board of Directors is disturbed to learn the details of this situation and what appeared to be a lack of accountability and a desire by ESPN to provide accommodations for a white employee who mocked diversity and a well-qualified co-worker while seemingly ignoring how Taylor and others who later heard the conversation may have been affected,” said NABJ President Dorothy Tucker. “The silence and apparent inaction by ESPN leaders over the last year is deafening and, as a result, NABJ is requesting a meeting with Bob Iger, executive chairman at The Walt Disney Company, which owns ESPN; Bob Chapek, CEO of The Walt Disney Company; and Jimmy Pitaro, chairman of ESPN.”

ESPN issued the following statement to NABJ but did not directly address Nichols’ behavior and the subsequent fallout.

“We’re proud to lead the sports media industry in making significant progress to develop and place diverse talent on-air and in key leadership positions,” a spokesperson said. “Diversity, Inclusion and Equity are top priorities at ESPN. We recognize more work needs to be done, and we will continue our commitment to creating a culture that reflects our values. Our partnership with NABJ is an integral part of that commitment.”

NABJ looks forward to meeting with top leaders at the company to present our concerns, demand answers and change at ESPN.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Rosetta Ellis-Pilie Named ESPN Vice President, Talent Development and Negotiations

Accomplished ESPN executive Rosetta Ellis-Pilie has been named ESPN Vice President, Talent Development and Negotiations, effective May 1, it was announced today by Norby Williamson, ESPN Executive Vice President, Production and Executive Editor. In that role, Ellis-Pilie will lead the day-to-day efforts of ESPN’s Talent Office, which is responsible for hiring, developing and guiding ESPN’s commentator team, negotiating contracts, and collaborating with many ESPN departments and external contacts on all matters related to commentator roles and responsibilities. She will report to Williamson.

Ellis-Pilie, who joined ESPN in 2011, has worked in its Legal Department for nearly a decade, most recently as ESPN’s Vice President and Assistant Chief Counsel. As part of that wide-ranging role, she has been instrumental in developing, negotiating and finalizing hundreds of agreements related to ESPN’s rights, content, and on-air commentators. Recent examples include her direct involvement in ESPN’s groundbreaking agreement with UFC, Stephen A Smith’s contract extension, and legal management of the multi-faceted sports and entertainment elements of the ESPYS and ESPN Radio.

“Rosetta is well respected at ESPN and throughout our industry,” Williamson said. “She brings relevant experience, strong leadership traits and a fresh perspective to this pivotal role. ESPN has the most skilled, diverse talent team, and Rosetta will undoubtedly drive continued success through a focus on fostering growth and hiring the best people.”

Ellis-Pilie, who is currently on maternity leave until her scheduled May 1 return, added, “This is an exceptional opportunity, particularly given its importance to ESPN’s connection with sports fans and our overall business. I am truly excited to continue to interact with colleagues across the company as well as outside contacts, many of whom I have worked closely with on projects over the past decade. Our talent lineup is the forward-facing cornerstone of ESPN and I look forward to joining forces with them directly when I start this exciting new chapter in May.”

Prior to assuming her Assistant Chief Counsel role, Ellis-Pilie had served as Assistant Counsel, Associate Principal Counsel and Principal Counsel at ESPN. Overall, her ESPN work has included: providing legal guidance on labor and employment matters related to ESPN’s dozens of business entities; drafting and negotiating numerous on-air and behind-the-scenes personnel agreements; negotiating major rights deals including with UFC and Top Rank Boxing, managing the legal elements for the ESPYS such as celebrity hosts, musical performances, venue, sponsors and footage rights; and overseeing legal aspects for ESPN Radio and its hundreds of affiliates.

Ellis-Pilie served in the United States Army and is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm. She has received numerous awards for excellence and her stationed sites included Germany, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait. She participated in The Walt Disney Company’s “Heroes Work Here” campaign, which helps hire, train and support military veterans entering the civilian workforce. She was featured in the program’s national ad campaign, moderated a related panel, and appeared on The View during its Salute to Military episode.

Ellis-Pilie has also represented ESPN and The Walt Disney Company on various industry initiatives and panels, including Disney Lawyers of Color Career Information panel, Georgetown Law School Sports, Entertainment and Media Law symposium’s “Representation of Content Creators” panel, and served as a final round judge for the Robert F. Wagner National Labor and Employment Law Moot Court Competition. Among her honors, Ellis-Pilie was recognized in 2016 by Savoy Magazine as one of the Top 100 Influential Women in Corporate America.

Before joining ESPN, Ellis-Pilie led the domestic and international labor and employment law practice for Sun Chemical Corporation and was a Labor and Employment Associate at McDermott, Will & Emery and at Proskauer Rose LLP.

A graduate of Seton Hall University with a B.A. in Criminal Justice and a minor in Business Administration, the New Jersey-native earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law. While there, she served as a member of the Virginia Law Review, the Virginia Journal of Social Policy & Law, and on the inaugural Managing Board of the Virginia Sports and Entertainment Law Journal.

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Kaepernick, ESPN team up for documentary series on his life

Colin Kaepernick will be featured in a documentary series produced by ESPN Films as part of a first-look deal with The Walt Disney Co.

The deal between Kaepernick’s production arm, Ra Vision Media, and The Walt Disney Co. was announced Monday. The partnership will focus on telling scripted and unscripted stories that explore race, social injustice and the quest for equity. It also will provide a platform to showcase the work of directors and producers of color.

“I am excited to announce this historic partnership with Disney across all of its platforms to elevate Black and Brown directors, creators, storytellers, and producers, and to inspire the youth with compelling and authentic perspectives,” Kaepernick said in a statement. “I look forward to sharing the docuseries on my life story, in addition to many other culturally impactful projects we are developing.”

Kaepernick, who became the face of a Nike campaign in 2018, will work closely with The Undefeated, which is expanding its portfolio across Disney, to develop stories from the perspective of communities of color.

His deal with The Walt Disney Co. will extend across all Disney platforms, including Walt Disney Television, ESPN, Hulu, Pixar and The Undefeated.

The docuseries chronicling Kaepernick’s journey and his last five years is the first project in development.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

LeBron James on Trump: He doesn't 'give a f--- about the people'

LeBron James laid into President Trump in a new video from Uninterrupted, saying that the president doesn’t "give a f---" about the American people.

In the video, which was filmed in January, ESPN’s Cari Champion interviews James and Kevin Durant while driving the NBA stars in an Uber.

"The number one job in America, the ... person is someone who doesn't understand the people, and really don't give a f--- about the people,” James said of Trump.

Champion raised the issue of what she called Trump’s "racist comments." The interview was conducted near the time last month Trump was under fire for referring to Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as "shithole countries."

"It's not even a surprise when he says something,” James said. “It's, like, laughable; it's laughable and it's scary."

He added that he wants to use his platform as an athlete to set an example for what is acceptable.

“While we cannot change what comes out of that man’s mouth, we can continue to alert the people that watch us, that listen to us that this is not the way,” he said.



Saturday, January 27, 2018

Jemele Hill Statement On leaving ESPN's 'SportsCenter'

Jemele Hill, the “SportsCenter” anchor who found herself in the middle of a political firefight last year after tweeting about President Trump, is leaving “SportsCenter” to work at The Undefeated, ESPN’s sub-site focused on race and culture. Sports Illustrated reported that the move is believed to be Hill’s decision. Read Hill's statement on her departure below:

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Colin Kaeprnick Shows Support For Jemele Hill

Jemele Hill, the co-host of Sports Center went on a rant on Twitter Monday. She tweeted that Trump was "unqualified and unfit to be president." She wrote: “He is not a leader. And if he were not white, he never would have been elected.”

Hill continued: “Trump is the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime."

"His rise is a direct result of white supremacy. Period,” she wrote.

The Sports Center anchor's tweets were denounced by ESPN, which released a statement reading, “The comments on Twitter from Jemele Hill regarding the President do not represent the position of ESPN. We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate.”

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick took to Twitter on Tuesday to show support for the ESPN anchor:

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

ABC & ESPN to air President Obama Town Hall on Race and Policing

With the recent tragic events in Minneapolis, Baton Rouge and Dallas still fresh on the minds of Americans, President Obama is expected to participate in a Disney Media Networks town hall this week titled "The President and the People: A National Conversation."

The town hall will be moderated by "World News Tonight" anchor David Muir and held in Washington D.C. It will focus on candid discussions on race relations, justice, policing and equality by the members of the community. ESPN's Jemele Hill will join Muir.

The one-hour event will come just days after President Obama attended a Dallas memorial for five police officers shot dead last week by a sniper. It also comes after two black men were killed by officers in Louisiana and Minnesota -- controversial shootings that sparked a wave of protests.

"We turn on the TV or surf the internet, and we can watch positions harden and lines drawn and people retreat to their respective corners," Obama said today during the memorial. "We see all this, and it's hard not to think sometimes that the center won't hold. And that things might get worse. I understand. I understand how Americans are feeling. ... I'm here to say we must reject such despair. I'm here to insist that we are not as divided as we seem. And I know that because I know America."

The town hall is set to air Thursday at 8 p.m. ET and will be simulcast commercial-free on ABC, ESPN, Freeform,, Freeform Digital, Watch ABC, Watch ESPN, Yahoo, ABC News’ Facebook page and YouTube channel as well as ABC Radio.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Zaevion Dobson Honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award

July 13, 2006 ESPY Awards Zaevion Dobson honored

In December 2015, Zaevion Dobson, a 15-year-old high school football star from Knoxville, Tennessee, was forced to make a split-second decision—run to safety or sacrifice himself to protect those around him. Instead of running, Dobson used his body to protect two girls from a barrage of bullets, ultimately giving his life to save theirs. To honor his incredible act of bravery, ESPN today announced that Dobson will be posthumously honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at The 2016 ESPYS Presented by Capital One. Presented annually to individuals whose contributions transcend sports, the award recognizes those individuals who embody the spirit of the trophy’s namesake, tennis legend Arthur Ashe, who dedicated his life to human rights advocacy.

Zaevion Dobson, a sophomore at Fulton High School in northern Knoxville, was considered one of the city’s great success stories as both a promising football player and mentor to his peers. Dobson’s selfless act of bravery made him a national hero. Zenobia Dobson, Zaevion’s mother, will accept the Arthur Ashe Courage Award on his behalf, accompanied by Zaevion’s brothers Zack Dobson and Markastin Taylor.

“The family of Zaevion William Dobson accepts with great appreciation the honorable Arthur Ashe Award on behalf of our beloved young man of valor, who sacrificed himself to save others,” Zenobia Dobson said on behalf of the Dobson family. “Arthur Ashe was a leading example of strength and courage for us as a family, and we feel truly blessed and honored that our Zaevion joins the ranks of honorees. Like Arthur Ashe, Zaevion faced obstacles, but he overcame them. With this award, we know that Zaevion’s name and example will never be forgotten.”

Zaevion was honored by the sports community in a special tribute before Super Bowl 50 and was recognized by President Obama during a speech in January. The President emphasized that Zaevion’s sacrifice should serve as inspiration for taking action, saying, “He gave his life to save theirs—an act of heroism a lot bigger than anything we should ever expect from a 15-year-old.”

Added ESPYS Executive Producer Maura Mandt, “Zaevion’s actions to risk his own life for others demonstrate the true meaning of the word courage, and his boundless bravery has inspired many. We are proud to honor him with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at this year’s ESPYS. By celebrating Zaevion’s legacy, we hope to bring more attention to this serious issue and continued focus on the tragic loss of lives to gun violence.”

The 2016 ESPYS, hosted by WWE Superstar John Cena, will air live on Wednesday, July 13, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Tickets are available for public purchase at For additional ESPYS news and information, please follow the official Twitter handle: @ESPYS.

The Arthur Ashe Courage Award

The Arthur Ashe Courage Award is presented each year to individuals whose contributions transcend sports. Past honorees include: Jim Valvano (1993); Steve Palermo (1994); Howard Cosell (1995); Loretta Claiborne (1996); Muhammad Ali (1997); Dean Smith (1998); Billie Jean King (1999); Dave Sanders (2000); Olympian Cathy Freeman (2001); Todd Beamer, Mark Bingham, Tom Burnett and Jeremy Glick, four passengers who lost their lives September 11 on United Flight 93 (2002); Pat and Kevin Tillman (2003); Liberian-born soccer legend George Weah (2004); disabled athletes Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah and Jim MacLaren (2005); Afghan female athletes (2006); and Trevor Ringland and Dave Cullen for their work with PeacePlayers (2007); U.S. Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos (2008); former president Nelson Mandela (2009); the Thomas family of Parkersburg, IA (2010); boxer Dewey Bozella (2011); women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt (2012); Robin Roberts (2013), Michael Sam (2014) and Caitlyn Jenner (2015).

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Don't miss the ESPN Black History Month Special : Rise UP 02/14/2016

The centerpiece of ESPN’s Black History Month programming, Rise Up: A SportsCenter Special, airs Sunday, Feb. 14, at 5 p.m.(EST) on ESPN. In the one-hour program, four segments will feature prominent African-Americans in a direct and intimate conversation sharing firsthand accounts of the events in the news cycle that impacted their lives. The topics include Taj Gibson of the Chicago Bulls on rising up against gun violence; Missouri football captain Ian Simon on rising up against authority; former pro tennis player James Blake on rising up against racial profiling; and ballet star Misty Copeland on rising up against prejudice. Following each segment, a brief discussion of the significance of the subject will be held among reporters, analysts and editors from ESPN and other media outlets. The panelists include Scoop Jackson, the Magazine and LZ Grandersen, ESPN/ABC (Gibson); William Rhoden, New York Times and Maria Taylor, SEC Network (Missouri football); Howard Bryant, the Magazine and Chris Haynes, (Blake); and Alison Overholt, ESPN the Magazine/espnW and Kelley Carter, The Undefeated (Copeland).

2016 ESPN Black History Month Special: Rise Up: A SportsCenter Special from ESPNFrontRow on Vimeo.