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.”
“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.”
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.
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.