I'm done. Finished. I quit.
For the 29th time this week, I went to ESPN's website to catch up on sports news. Instead, I was hit with a wave of political drama.
Just look at the screenshot of the home page above. The majority of the top news items are political news.
I understand. People are dying, property is being damanaged, and life isn't fair. But let's get one thing clear, sports is an escape from that. And this is no disrespect to the men and women whose lives are lost or destroyed due to injustice going on in the world today. But that does not belong on ESPN.
Tonight out of the top six featured headlines on their home page, four of them were about Title IX, political riots, national anthem protests, and yes more national anthem protests. Let me be very clear for the trolls out there, I read about all these topics and more each day. I feel like discussing them is very important.
But just like I do not like the government talking about religion, I do not want ESPN talking about politics.
So, if ESPN is wondering why their direct website traffic is dropping. Let me help them out. Remove all the politics from your home page. It would be really simple, just create a filter and if the article's main point relates to any of these topics, do not publish it.
Here's 39 topics I never want to read about on ESPN again:
- Political protests
- Any protests
- Presidential candidates
- Any political candidates
- Global terrorism
- Domestic terrorism
- Angry people who are not talking about sports
- Coaches talking about politics
- Players talking about politics
- Ex-coaches talking about poltics
- Human rights
- Transgender rights
- Gay rights
- Straight rights
- Anyones rights
- Fair laws
- Unfair laws
- Political polls
- Any polls unrelated to who is going to win a game
- Foriegn policy
- Domestic policy
- Homeland security
- International security
- Gun control
- Guns (unless they are found on Plaxico Burress)
- Licit drugs
- Illicit drugs (exceptions made for Johnny Manziel)
- Free trade
- Paid trade
- Border disputes
- Illegal immigration
- Legal immigration
- Immigration of any kind
- Conversative rants
- Liberal rants
Ok. Now that we have that out of the way, let's talk about how to fix the problem internally. Of course ESPN is a giant corporation, so there will have to be some kind of general memo sent out. Well guess what ESPN execs? I have gone to the trouble of writing it for you already.
Here is the internal memo ESPN could send out that would solve all of this:
Dear ESPN Family,
As you know the world has never been a more uncertain place. And in the last few years the line between sports and life has seemingly vanished right in front of our eyes.
Part of what makes any good product great is listening to your customers. After all, ESPN is a product. And this product competes directly with some of the largest media outlets in the world. One thing is clear. Our customers are passionate about their local communities, their country, and their opinions. But we have found that one thing is equally clear...
Sports is an escape. Networks like ESPN are where people turn when they are tired of being depressed listening to CNN. They want to be encouraged. They want to feel hope. Football on Sunday is what takes the sting out of everyday life.
But instead of helping our nation heal, we continue to make the problem worse for everyone else. All in the name of ratings. We aren't doing this to solve any real problems. After all the world does not need another news outlet covering current events.
So, effective immediately we will shifting our focus completely back to sports. This includes what we show on our website and what we talk about on the air. If there is a protest going on, we will not show it on the air. If there is political news happening, we will let CNN cover that.
If we do not change, we risk competing with larger news products and simultaneously losing our core sports audience. That is a losing proposition on both ends.
I hope ESPN listens. I hope they change. For their sake.