With the NBA’s return looming in Disney World, ESPN has suspended star reporter Adrian Wojnarowski after he replied “F--- you” in an email to a U.S. senator, the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand confirmed on Saturday.
The suspension is reportedly without pay. Its length is currently unknown.
The email, sent from Wojnarowski’s professional account, was in reply to a press release from Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) announcing the senator had sent a letter to NBA commissioner Adam Silver that decried the NBA’s relationship with China and accused it of censoring support for law enforcement and the military.
Hawley’s office wasted little time in posting a screencap of the two-word response (six words if you count “Sent from my iPhone”).
Warning: the following tweet contains NSFW language.
Hawley has since publicly invited ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro, who has tried to make ESPN as apolitical as possible, to fly to Washington for an in-person meeting discussing the network, the NBA and China during a global pandemic.
Wojnarowski posted an apology hours after Hawley posted the exchange, calling his reply “disrespectful,” “a regrettable mistake” and “unacceptable.” He apologized directly to Hawley, as well as his ESPN colleagues. ESPN also tweeted a condemnation of Wojnarowski’s email and said it would address the matter internally.
Wojnarowski has not tweeted since, even as NBA players land in Orlando to play at Disney World and the league prepares to play games for the first time in four months. Games are scheduled to begin again on July 30.
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