ESPN has suspended NBA reporter Adrian Wojanrowski for the profanity he e-mailed a U.S. senator on Friday, Outkick the Coverage reported Saturday night, citing sources.
The network has not announced the suspension. Outkick’s Ryan Glasspiegel reported that an ESPN spokesperson declined to comment.
Wojnarowski wrote “F— you” in an e-mail reply to Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., after Hawley had written the NBA asking why the league was not allowing pro-military, pro-police and pro-Hong Kong messages among the social justice commentary players will be allowed to wear on their uniforms when the season restarts later this month in Florida.
The longtime NBA insider quickly apologized for his response, saying he was “disrespectful” and that he had made a “horrible mistake.” The network followed up by calling Woj’s e-mail “unacceptable behavior.”
Hawley replied on Twitter that Wojnarowski shouldn’t have been made to apologize. “He’s just saying what he really thinks,” Hawley wrote. Instead, the senator asked ESPN how much money it, parent Disney and the league make from the China market. He also said ESPN needs to “call out” the NBA for its dealings with China.
“I want ESPN to ask the NBA why they won’t let players stand up for America and be able to criticize China’s actions,” Hawley told Outkick’s Jason Whitlock. “But maybe ESPN won’t say anything because they benefit from the NBA’s global presence.”
“Until ESPN speaks out, all they are really doing is enabling the Chinese Communist Party to stifle free speech in America.”
Chinese authorities retaliated against the NBA in the preseason for Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeting “FIGHT FOR FREEDOM STAND WITH HONG KONG,” which was almost immediately taken down and disavowed. Star players like LeBron James have been criticized for speaking out on domestic social issues but staying silent on China.