Over the past month, hundreds of NFL players have been taking a knee during the national anthem before their games to protest against President Donald Trump and against racial inequality. Americans have responded by turning off their televisions and refusing to watch NFL games because of this disrespect towards the flag, which has caused ratings to plummet.
Now, ESPN has gone into panic mode over this ratings plunge, and the network is taking drastic action.
Conservative Tribune reported that ESPN is about to announce another round of layoffs right after the Thanksgiving holidays, and this time 100 staffers will be fired. The layoffs will mostly focus on staffers with the network’s flagship program, SportsCenter. Those who are being payed off will include “front-facing talent on the television side, producers, executives, and digital and technology staffers.”
This is the second round of layoffs for ESPN this year after 100 people were cut in April. A total of 300 people were also laid off from ESPN in 2015.
This trend is likely to continue, as ESPN loses roughly 10,000 subscribers a month, even as it pays billions to sports leagues for broadcast rights. The NFL ratings drop has only exacerbated this, as this week’s “Monday Night Football” game, which featured a divisional rivalry game between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers, was the lowest-rated Week Nine “Monday Night Football” broadcast since 2007.
Many ESPN viewers were turned off when host Jemele Hill called President Donald Trump a white supremacist and got away with a mild rebuke, showing exactly where the network’s politics are.
ESPN Statement on Jemele Hill: pic.twitter.com/3kfexjx9zQ
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) September 12, 2017
“I felt that the old school viewers were put in a corner and not appreciated with all these other changes,” SportsCenter veteran Linda Cohn said in a radio interview. “And they forgot their core. You can never forget your core, and be grateful for your core group.”
This comes after ESPN reported that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has just threatened to sue the NFL if a contract extension for commissioner Roger Goodell is approved by the league’s compensation committee. Jones reportedly wants Goodell out because of the way he has handled, or not handled, the anthem protests.
Jerry Jones threatens to sue NFL if Roger Goodell doesn’t take action on national anthem protests pic.twitter.com/f0nb9X82RM
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) November 9, 2017
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