Photo credit: @CornellNews
By: Amaury Pi-Gonzalez
James Pitaro, new President of ESPN, said: “My job is to provide clarity. I really believe that some of our talent was confused on what was expected of them.”
Pitaro admitted political commentary killed the network and vowed for change.
Pitaro added: “Our fans do not want politics mixed with sports.”
Alexandra J. Robert, a law professor specializing in trademark law, entertainment law and pop culture recently wrote in The Boston Globe how one business in particular feels. In this case, Dunkin Donuts said: “We are not Starbucks, we aren’t political, we aren’t gonna put stuff on our cups to start conversations. we don’t want to engage you in political conversation, we want to get you in and out of our store in seconds. It’s donuts and ice cream– just be happy.”
The majority of businesses have one agenda — to make money. I do not know of anybody that goes into business to lose money. Having said that we live in a free capitalistic free enterprise society, and people (even businesses) are allowed to promote certain causes. There is nothing wrong with that.
When it comes to sports, Pitaro has seen what has happened to his network and he is trying to change that. ESPN has always been a sports network. They do not tell you how to cook an omelet or how to elect somebody to Congress, while those watching the Food Channel could care less (well, at least when they are watching their favorite show) what was the score of the game. To each their own. I am old enough to remember when we had ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and vice versa way before cable. Now, we have 200-plus channels to chose from.
For years, I have maintained that sports is one of the biggest escapes to the boring everyday life. Let’s face it, most people’s lives consist of going to work in the morning and coming home in the afternoon. The overwhelming majority see sports that should always be neutral, something to enjoy, escape and relax from a hard day of work.
Pitaro gets it. He knew he has been hired to heal a network that during the past few years have been going downhill, not only from the competition, but also because some who get paid to cover sports dived into politics.
Pitaro knows very well he has not been hired to save the world, but to save a sports network.