Apr 15, 2013; Bristol, CT, USA; Brittney Griner and Skylar Diggins speak with ESPN

ESPN tells on-air talent to not say ‘sucks’


When discussing sports it is almost impossible for someone not to use the word “sucks” it seems. Of course, most of these conversations happen at bars and on couches across the United States and not on television to a national audience.

ESPN would like their on-air talent to find better ways to describe their feelings about a particular team or player. Or maybe to find a better way to describe why a particular team or player isn’t performing well. I mean, why would you be expected to explain your belief beyond using the the word sucks as a general summary.

That led to this memo late Friday afternoon from executive vice president, production John Wildhack and senior vice president, talent development & planning Laurie Orlando.

The memo, courtesy of Romenesko:

From: Talent Office
Date: December 6, 2013 5:13:56 PM EST
Subject: Important Reminder

All,

All of us in Production and throughout the company take great pride in the work of our on air talent. You are our direct connection with sports fans and contribute significantly in making ESPN the leader in sports media. Recently, there have been numerous incidents in which the word “sucks” has been used on our air. This word is simply not appropriate for ESPN. What you say and the language you use is important for our audience and sports fans of all ages. Please be mindful of this starting immediately.

Thank you,
John Wildhack and Laurie Orlando

Tags: ESPN