ESPN’s newest star Katie Nolan called President Donald Trump “a f***ing stupid person” on a podcast for Viceland this week, testing the boundaries of the sports network’s policies on political commentary from their on-air employees.
Nolan appeared Wednesday on a late night comedy program hosted by Desus Nice and The Kid Mero. The comedy team asked Nolan about hand gestures and memes that some interpret as white supremacist gestures. As Sporting News reports, one of the hosts claimed the “thumbs up” gesture is seen by some as advocating “white power.
“That’s because he’s a f——— stupid person,” Nolan replied.
Nolan was hired by ESPN in October after her star rose on competitor Fox Sports. ESPN plans to use Nolan as a studio host and digital media star including web-based content and podcasts.
After a string of derogatory statements made on-air and on social media by various ESPN personalities, the Disney-owned sports network clarified their policies regarding political commentary by their hosts:
Outside of “hard” news reporting, commentary related to political or social issues,candidates or office holders should be consistent with these guidelines:
+ The subject matter should merit our audience’s interests, and be worthy of our time,space and resources; we should be in position to discuss the issue with authority and be factually accurate.
+ The topic should be related to a current issue impacting sports, unless otherwise approved by senior editorial management. This condition may vary for content appearing on platforms with broader editorial missions – such as The Undefeated,FiveThirtyEight and espnW.
+ Commentaries on relevant sports-related issues are appropriate, but we should refrain from overt partisanship or endorsement of particular candidates, politicians or political parties.
+ The presentation should be thoughtful and respectful. We should offer balance or recognize opposing views, as warranted. We should avoid personal attacks and inflammatory rhetoric.
+ Communication with producers and editors must take place prior to commentary on any political or social issues to manage volume and ensure a fair and effective presentation. These guidelines act in concert with all ESPN editorial standards &practices, including those governing social media and commentary, and apply on ESPN, Twitter, Facebook and other media.
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