ESPN’s Maria Taylor defends Adrian Wojnarowski after vulgar email to Sen. Josh Hawley
ESPN broadcaster Maria Taylor “will always stand with” colleague Adrian Wojnarowski — even after the NBA insider wrote “F–k you” in an email to a US Senator.
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri sent out a press release Friday blasting the NBA for allowing players to wear social-justice messages on the back of their jerseys when the league is scheduled to restart next month — except for messages supporting law enforcement or criticism of China’s Communist Party.
Wojnarowski returned Hawley’s email with the uncensored cuss and the senator shared the retort to social media.
The 51-year-old Wojnarowski later apologized and ESPN said it does not “condone” his actions, but Taylor on Friday night tweeted support for her coworker who commonly is regarded as the top NBA reporter.
“I don’t care what anyone says I will always stand with, by, and, for my incredible colleague & friend @wojespn,” the 33-year-old Taylor tweeted.
While the NBA is largely seen as one of the most progressive sports leagues, it faced backlash in October for how it responded to Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeting support for Honk Kong anti-government protesters.
The NBA called Morey’s tweet “regrettable,” and the league was said to have lost between $150 million and $200 million in revenue after China yanked its NBA sponsorships and TV coverage.
China in late June approved a national security law that effectively stripped Hong Kong residents’ freedom of speech and right to protest the communist government.
In response to Black Lives Matter protests following the May death of George Floyd, the league and players union agreed to a list of 29 statements for players to put on the back of their jerseys, including: Black Lives Matter; Say Their Names; Vote; I Can’t Breathe; Justice; Peace; Equality; Freedom; Enough; Power to the People; Justice Now; Say Her Name; Sí Se Puede (Yes We Can); Liberation; See Us; Hear Us; Respect Us; Love Us; Listen; Listen to Us; Stand Up; Ally; Anti-Racist; I Am A Man; Speak Up; How Many More; Group Economics; Education Reform; and Mentor.
Hawley asked commissioner Adam Silver in his initial email whether the NBA would allow players to “wear phrases in support of the United States, the American military, and US law enforcement personnel” and messages “of support for victims of the Chinese Communist Party.”
It was unclear whether Silver responded to Hawley’s email, or if Wojnarowski would face discipline from ESPN.
Hawley didn’t seem to care for Wojnarowski’s apology, tweeting in response to the ESPN statement, “Don’t make @wojespn apologize. He’s just saying what he really thinks. Call out the @NBA. You know, your job.”
The NBA is in the middle of a nine-year, $24 billion television deal with ESPN and TNT.
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