ESPN has once again proven itself incapable of following even the most basic rules of family-friendly sports broadcasting. During a segment titled “Hot Mic Summer,” producers forgot to censor multiple uses of the F-word during the nationally televised show “NBA Today.”
“NBA Today,” hosted by Malika Andrews, Marcus Spears, and Ramona Shelburne, discussed the upcoming season and what it may hold for prodigal superstar Ben Simmons of the Brooklyn Nets. Following a years-long stint where Simmons struggled to stay on the floor amid struggles with injuries and mental health, the cast of “NBA Today” spoke to teammate Mikal Bridges about what the upcoming season may hold for Simmons.
Bridges began with an interview that sports fans have heard one million times. There was nothing out of the ordinary as he said, “His back was messed up and him actually going through getting x-rays and them telling him, ‘You need surgery,’ I think it kinda felt good for him. I think people didn’t believe him. He was kind of the little boy who cried wolf sometimes.”
Then, the interview took a turn in a way that only ESPN could allow. Even with billions of dollars backing the company, they still were unable to find a way to stop these swear words from creeping past their producers. Bridges said, “I think he’s in a good place, like, we’re close. He’s talking in the chat all the time. I think he just feels that like, he has a f***ing lot of friends and we all f***k with him.”
Those f-bombs were probably supposed to be censored. Whoops. pic.twitter.com/gAUzeEbUiK
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) July 26, 2023
This magnificent blunder comes just weeks after ESPN was forced to announce the firing of multiple big-name hosts in an attempt to cut costs. The company released a statement at the time on ESPN Press Room, saying, “Given the current environment, ESPN has determined it necessary to identify some additional cost savings in the area of public-facing commentator salaries, and that process has begun.”
This use of profanity may result in the need for even more cost-saving measures, as the FCC does not allow swearing on broadcast TV between the hours of 6 am and 10 pm. While speaking about the job cuts, ESPN made it clear that there will be more news in the future about cost-cutting at the media empire, saying, “This exercise will include a small group of job cuts in the short-term and an ongoing focus on managing costs when we negotiate individual contract renewals in the months ahead.”
In the meantime, while it has not been made public whether the company will face any repercussions for the slip-up, it is just another example of the once-great ESPN falling deeper behind its competition. Owned by Disney, ESPN has veered further away from sports and begun indoctrinating fans in social justice theory. Maybe this recent stint of poor earnings will be enough to resurrect the ESPN of old.
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