‘SportsCenter’ Anchor Linda Cohn Agrees Politics Is Hurting ESPN

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You may think ESPN has been firing a bunch of people lately due to TV rights deals and an overburdened budget, but popular “SportsCenter” anchor Linda Cohn suggested it has a lot more to do with politics.

The Worldwide leader in sports is not only losing subscriber revenue because of cord-cutting, but also because viewers are increasingly turned off by ESPN inserting politics into every single one of its sports coverage.

“That is definitely a percentage of it,” Cohn said Thursday on 77 WABC’s “Bernie and Sid” show when asked whether certain social or political stances contributed to the stupor that resulted in roughly 100 employees getting the ax this week. “I don’t know how big a percentage, but if anyone wants to ignore that fact, they’re blind.”

Cohn agreed that certain sports fans may have strongly disagreed with the way ESPN covered polarizing figures such as Roger Goodell, former San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, and Caitlyn Jenner.

Cohn attributed that turn-off for ESPN to many examples, including the 2015 ESPYs, when Jenner, a former Olympic champion in the decathlon, won the prestigious Arthur Ashe Award for Courage for publicly coming out as a transgender woman. The constant coverage of 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick being shown on TV kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem was a huge hit for the network as well.

“You know, when you work for a big company, you have to follow in line, you have to pay the bills,” she said. “But you just kind of look in the mirror and do what you think is right no matter what else is going on around you. And that’s what I always tried to do.”

The layoffs for ESPN are expected to be nearing 100, and more shall go once the NFL draft is over.

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