ESPN President John Skipper Resigns Citing Substance Addiction Issues

ESPNJohn Skipper resigned as president of ESPN and co-chairman of the Disney Media Networks on Monday. George Bodenheimer, ESPN’s president from 1998 to 2011 and its executive chairman until May 2014, will take over as the acting chairman of the company for the next 90 days to help Disney chairman and chief executive officer Bob Iger find Skipper’s replacement. “Today I have resigned from my duties as President of ESPN,” Skipper said in a statement. “I have had a wonderful career at the Walt Disney Company and am grateful for the many opportunities and friendships. I owe a debt to many, but most profoundly Michael Lynton, George Bodenheimer and Bob Iger. “I have struggled for many years with a substance addiction. I have decided that the most important thing I can do right now is to take care of my problem.

So John Skipper, the president of ESPN, resigned from his lofty position yesterday citing substance addiction issues. The guy with one of the most powerful positions in all of sports and media stepped down after literally signing a contract extension through 2021 last month. That is not normal.  I don’t mean to break out the jump to conclusions mat..

..but this all just seems to be coming at an odd time. More and more sexual abuse and harassment allegations continue to pile in every day and now we’re starting to see the movement entering the world of sports. Christ, theres an 800 page book I read about all the wild shit that went on at ESPN over the years.

Just this week we heard that Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was coming under fire for allegations of workplace misconduct against him, then the NFL took over the investigation, then the creepy details came out, and now he’s selling the team. That shit happened QUICK.

Think about that for a second. This is the NFL; the definition of the old boys club. There’s no young tech billionaire owner in the NFL like the NBA has in Mark Cuban. Its all old, rich, white guys who probably think they’re beyond reproach. Welp, its 2017 boys and its become real apparent, real quick to a lot of entitled rich guys like Richardson that ain’t the case anymore. Now we have P. Diddy coming out saying he wants to buy the Panthers.

This NEEDS to happen. Besides the fact that I could just post Chappelle’s Show clips of Making the Band all day, he would bring some much needed diversity into the club that is NFL owners. Diddy would bring a new voice as both a black man and a much younger perspective on everything from the racial issues of the league to the promotion of the product.

Back to Skipper though, it seems like this guy has been underwater for some time. That scathing Boston Globe piece came out last week slamming the Worldwide Leader for its workplace environment that was toxic to many women. Buccigross was the main fall guy in that piece as he was outed for sending overly flirty text messages and unsolicited shirt pics. Not on the level of some shit we’ve heard from Weinstein, but obviously wicked inappropriate. I don’t understand what these guys don’t get. When I’m at work I pretend everything I say and do will be recorded and used against me in the future. So just don’t try and fuck all your coworkers or be a weirdo in the office and you’ll be good. We’ve all got skeletons in our closet, but keep that shit in the closet at home.

We all of course remember the short lived Barstool Sports show with the Pardon My Take guys PFT and Big Cat that lasted all of one episode before ESPN cancelled it.

ESPN was taking heat from Sam Ponder and other female employees about the network associating with Barstool, which they were pissed about. What I don’t get is, you know what Barstool is about, you know what their audience is, you know there may be controversy, but you green light the show anyways. Then you pull the plug after one episode and some blowback from disgruntled parties? Either stick with your decision and give the show a chance to make it through some growing pains or just don’t do it at all. If Skipper and ESPN were so concerned with the negative reaction AND they were knowingly embroiled in behind the scenes legal battles with former employees regarding sexual harassment, then why not kick the can down the road and try the show later on? Its just poor management.

Hopefully Skipper gets whatever help he needs for his substance issue, but with the timeline of everything and more allegations making their way into the sports world I would not be surprised if we start hearing some less than flattering details leaking out sooner than later.

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