Woj’s F-bomb has led to an unpaid suspension, The Post has learned.
ESPN has scrapped NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski’s trip to Orlando this week to report from the NBA bubble, according to sources, after he responded to Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) with an email that read “F–k you.”
Hawley had initiated the exchange by sending a mass letter criticizing NBA commissioner Adam Silver and the league’s relationship with China.
ESPN declined comment, though their actions will likely become obvious this week when the ultra-prominent Wojnarowski is not on the air. The end point of Wojnarowski’s suspension, if that has been defined, is not yet known.
For years now, Wojnarowski, first at Yahoo and now at ESPN, has been the top news breaker in the NBA. His signature reporting of moves ahead of his competition have become known as “Woj Bombs” on Twitter.
On Friday, Hawley, 40, posted a screenshot of Wojnarowski’s email, tweeting, “Don’t criticize #China or express support for law enforcement to @espn. It makes them real mad.”
Wojnarowski, 51, apologized soon after.
“I was disrespectful and I made a regrettable mistake,” Wojnarowski said in a statement. “I’m sorry for the way I handled myself and I am reaching out immediately to Senator Hawley to apologize directly. I also need to apologize to my ESPN colleagues because I know my actions were unacceptable and should not reflect on any of them.”
ESPN, meanwhile, described Wojnarowski’s email as “completely unacceptable,” “inexcusable” and said they would address it directly with Wojnarowski, but the specifics will remain “internal.”
Some NBA players and ESPN personnel have come to Wojnarowski’s defense. The Clippers’ Lou Williams tweeted “Aye #Freewoj man,” adding two crying laughing emojis. Williams’ teammate, Patrick Beverly followed the tweet with, “Till it’s backwards” and two prayer emojis.
ESPN’s Maria Taylor tweeted her support of Wojnarowski earlier, saying she would always stand with him.
With the NBA camps reopening at Disney World and games set to resume at the end of the month, the league has authorized messages that the players can wear instead of their names to support social justice. Those include, “Equality,” “Black Lives Matter, “Vote” and “I Can’t Breathe.”
However, commentary on China is excluded from the list. In October, the league dealt with the fallout of Rockets GM Daryl Morey’s tweet — “Stand with Hong Kong.” The Chinese government canceled NBA games and events set to take place in the country.
In Hawley’s letter to Silver, the senator questioned why “Free Hong Kong” was not included for the jerseys, saying “free expression appears to stop at the edge of your corporate sponsor sensibilities.”
Wojnarowski used his free expression to respond to Hawley — and now ESPN has benched him and taken away his paycheck.
Share this article:
Source: Read Full Article