Suspension to keep NBA insider Wojnarowski off beat for two weeks
Adrian Wojnarowski's ESPN suspension will be for two weeks, a result of the top NBA insider's "F*** you" response to an email from Missouri senator Josh Hawley.
The exact length of Wojnarowski's suspension was reported by Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, who added that Wojnarowski is expected to return to work by July 25.
ESPN management is showing support for Wojnarowski while expressing disappointment, per Marchand.
"The situation has caused an unneeded headache for executives as the network struggles without sports," Marchand wrote. "Behind the scenes, Wojnarowski has expressed contrition to his bosses, expressing he was wrong to send the email."
Hawley sent out an email questioning the NBA's relationship with China, prompting Wojnarowski's two-word response from his ESPN account. Ryan Glasspiegel of Outkick first reported that Wojnarowski had been suspended without pay.
Twenty-two teams will resume the season in Orlando at the end of the month. Most reporters covering the NBA's return from Disney have already arrived.
"ESPN has not officially acknowledged Wojnarowski’s work status, but he will not be reporting again until near the end of the month," Marchand wrote. "This includes tweeting news."
Hawley's mass email that drew Wojnarowki's ire was critical of the NBA's handling of Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey's tweet that showed support of Hong Kong protesters demands for democracy prior to the season.
Morey later deleted the tweet.
"Wojnarowski, who is among ESPN’s highest-profile reporters and is best known for routinely breaking news to his 4 million Twitter followers, played a role in that controversy as well," Strauss wrote. "After he liked Morey’s tweet, he was bombarded with threats on Twitter for the perceived slight toward China and support of Hong Kong."
Hawley has repeatedly told Outkick he doesn't want an apology from Wojnarowski.
"I want ESPN to ask the NBA why they won’t let players stand up for America and be able to criticize China’s actions,” Hawley told Outkick's Jason Whitlock. “But maybe ESPN won’t say anything because they benefit from the NBA’s global presence. Until ESPN speaks out, all they are really doing is enabling the Chinese Communist Party to stifle free speech in America.”
Hawley has continued to question the NBA on Twitter over what he has referred to as the league's "kowtowing" to China.
"NBA players, coaches, executives and the media that cover the league gleefully rip American political institutions to the high heavens, but they won’t say a word of negativity about the situation in Hong Kong or China," wrote Outkick founder Clay Travis.