• Katie Nolan opens up about leaving Fox Sports for ESPN and her Donald Trump comments in the latest Sports Illustrated Media Podcast.
By Richard Deitsch
January 14, 2018

While making an appearance last week on Viceland’s late-night show, Desus & Mero, ESPN host Katie Nolan ventured into an uncomfortable area for ESPN management: Political commentary.

Specifically, she called the President of The United States a “fuc----stupid person.”

The network responded with minor discipline. In a statement, ESPN said, “We have looked into the totality of Nolan’s comments, they were inappropriate, and we have addressed it with her," an ESPN spokesperson said in a statement.

As part of a 73-minute conversation this week as the guest of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, Nolan addressed her comments.

“I’ve recently learned the lesson that there is a lens on ESPN that I certainly misjudged or underestimated I guess in this current moment that people are focusing on, looking for, interested in, seeing people confirm what they already think about this network,” Nolan said. “So if I were to say I don’t feel as free that’s not because I feel like I can’t say what I want. I would say it’s because I feel like people are waiting for me to say something so they can use it to prove a belief they already have.” 

Nolan continued.

“If I could go back I would have just not said it. It isn’t an opinion that I hold so strongly and need the world to know that I was standing on a soapbox and taking a stand. If I was going to make an argument about anyone, I would make a much stronger, more informed argument. There’s obvious no excuse to dismiss what I said and that’s not my goal here, but I will say I was just talking to my friends and just off-hand dismissed him in a way that — I curse a lot, and I did. So like I said, looking back on it, if I could just go back and not say it, I would, because it just didn’t mean much to me to have that in there. That is what I would change.”

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In the podcast, Nolan, one of the hosts of SportsCenter on Snap and the host of a new ESPN Audio podcast, Sports? with Katie Nolan,” discussed the major differences between working at ESPN and Fox Sports; the story of calling Fox Sports president Eric Shanks to get out of her Fox contract; her frustrations of not working for months; how ESPN made it known they were interested in hiring her; the content she hopes to produce with her podcast; calling Donald Trump a “stupid fuc---- person” on Viceland and the ramifications for that choice of expression; whether she regrets using those words in that forum; ESPN’s discipline for her decision; whether we will see more women as solo hosts of sports opinion show; what she expects from Jimmy Garoppolo over the next decade; why she loves Mina Kimes; the impact of Michelle Beadle on her professionally; working in new mediums; and much more.

Podcast rundown:

2:00: The differences between working for ESPN and Fox Sports.

5:30: How ESPN approached her for a job.

9:00: Why things ultimately did not work out long-term at Fox Sports.

18:00: Women hosting solo sports shows where opinion is the format.

30:00: Her new podcast, “Sports? with Katie Nolan.”

34:00: An overabundance of Mina Kimes praise.

43:30: How much freedom she feels to speak about issues away from sports such as politics or social justice.

45:00: Her comments about Donald Trump on Viceland.

56:00: How long Tom Brady will play and what she expects from Jimmy Garoppolo over the next decade.

1:00:00 SportsCenter on Snap.

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