Jason Whitlock, provocative sports columnist, used to write for ESPN. Since he left for Fox Sports, he’s criticized them a ton, and said lots of things that have made people mad. You may know him for the time he made a super-duper-clever joke about Jeremy Lin having a small penis. That was really dumb.
Well, he just got hired by ESPN. The timing is perfect, for them. This is a big coup, ‘cuz the dude attracts eyeballs, and I swear that’s not a fat joke.
ESPN president John Skipper has capped a whirlwind month by snatching Fox Sports’ top digital talent and longtime ESPN nemesis Jason Whitlock, just days before the launch of Fox Sports 1, sources exclusively tell The Big Lead.
This shocking development – Whitlock famously left ESPN in 2006 after an interview with this website – culminates Skipper’s master plan to define ESPN as the Worldwide Leader in original sports thought and intellect, while letting his new challenger, Fox Sports 1, go the “jockularity” route.
I’m sure if you go on Twitter, you will that Whitlock is now the butt (or penis?) of many jokes. He has said plenty of legitimately inflammatory things, so this makes sense. But he gets a bit of a bad rap. Skipper said he’s looking “for smart talent and unique points of view … we’re on the lookout for people who can make us smarter.” You can joke all you want, but Whitlock is smart. Recently, he was very smart about Trayvon Martin. He was also very smart about Riley Cooper.
He might say some stupid things, he might yell, but he won’t be Skip Bayless. He won’t be Stephen A. Smith. He’s far smarter than them (yeah, I know, so is your pet turtle), and he’s going to be interesting to watch, and interesting to discuss.
Don’t get used to this, ESPN, but… good job. You’re growing up.