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ESPN and their Conflict of Interest with the NFL

by on December 12, 2016

I have a lot of problems with ESPN, and the more and more digging I do, the more I wonder why ESPN is still around. To me, ESPN is not journalism, it’s a business. They go around pretending to be an outlet for journalism when in reality the only thing that matters to them is money and the relationships they have with the people giving them money.

Take the NFL, for granted, a league that struck a deal with ESPN for over $15 Billion, which to me seems like a major conflict of interest.

How can a company that says they want to report on sports news do so to the best of their journalistic abilities when such a big sports organization is in a financial contract with them? Isn’t this unethical? There have been a lot of cases of ESPN favoring the NFL’s side on an issue, and you know that’s because of the money. They’re scared if they bad talk the league and the many obvious issues the league has (concussions, corruption of power, labor disputes), they’ll lose the right to broadcast games, which is the only reason ESPN is in business.

Everyone has heard about “Deflategate,” the ‘scandal’ that the NFL refused to lose in an attempt to downplay Tom Brady and the Patriots and all the success they’ve had. A Boston-based journalist by the name of Michael Corcoran reported that in the first seven months after the Deflategate scandal began, ESPN referenced the word “Deflategate” in 844 articles or videos, including Chris Mortensen’s erroneous report about the PSI in the footballs. They refused to let the story die.

Compare this to another scandal, one in which Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam was cited by the FBI in a 120 page affidavit of a five-year-long “conspiracy to scheme” and “defraud its customers” out of millions in rebates for his company Pilot Flying J. During the first seven months of THIS scandal, ESPN only referred to this report 23 times.

That is ridiculous! Haslam is an NFL owner, so anything that he were to do wrong would look bad on the league. Brady and the Patriots have been good for too long, and the NFL wants parity in their league so they thought they could bring the dynasty down. ESPN refused to let Deflategate die, refused, and it seems pretty obvious why.

The conflict of interest grows more and more every time you dig a little further into the topic.

It is believed that the NFL gave ESPN an awful Monday Night Football schedule last year as a punishment. Punishment for what, you may ask? Two ESPN employees, Keith Olbermann and Bill Simmons were outspoken in their criticism of the league and commissioner Roger Goodell.

These two employees are no longer with the company. Coincidence? I’m not so sure.

Comment below with any comments or opinions you may have on ESPN, there’s plenty to discuss.

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One Comment
  1. Zander Manning permalink

    This is probably the truest commentary I’ve ever seen about ESPN. It is totally a business and there are some very good points here. The points I liked the best were probably the ones about deflategate and Bill Simmons and Keith Olbermann.

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