Senator Hawley says he doesn't want apology from Woj, just action from ESPN

Sam Amico

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley doesn't want an apology from Adrian Wojnarowski for the ESPN NBA insider's reply to Hawley's press release accusing the league of "kowtowing to Beijing," Hawley told Jason Whitlock of

Wojnarowski responded "F*** you" to a mass email from the Republican's office that questioned why the NBA wouldn't be addressing the Hong Kong protests in its social justice messages when the league resumes play later this month.

Hawley took a screenshot of Wojnarowski's reply and tweeted it out. Wojnarowski has indeed since tweeted out an apology.

“No, I don’t want an apology. 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 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.”

Wojnarowski said he intends to contact Hawley directly to address the matter and apologize. ESPN also released a statement criticizing Wojnarowski and indicating any discipline will be handled behind closed doors.

The email was sent from Wojnarowski's work account.

"This is completely unacceptable behavior and we do not condone it," the ESPN statement read. "It is inexcusable for anyone working for anyone working for ESPN to respond in the way Adrian did to Senator Hawley. We are addressing it directly with Adrian and specifics of those conversations will remain internal."

Hawley later tweeted at ESPN, saying that the network shouldn't make Wojnarowski apologize and should instead "call out" the NBA about its relationship with China.

“I think normal Americans get it, but the media and the corporate class want to look the other way,” Hawley told Whitlock. “Normal, working Americans have understood at a gut level for years the threat from China, including the threat to our jobs. It’s the political establishment and the corporate class that kowtow to China.”

Twenty-two teams are scheduled to resume the season in Orlando at the end of the month. All games will be held at the Walt Disney World Resort. The Walt Disney Company owns ESPN, a broadcast partner of the league.