ESPN Won’t Wait for You to Get Enlightened

Photo Credit: Kyle Terada

It was the Sergio Dipp implosion that really brought things into focus.

ESPN is going to drag us all into the 20th century – not the 21st century, the 20th century.  It’s a decade or so late, whether we like it or not.

This was Dipp’s ESPN debut on Monday Night Football:

It was halting, it was awkward, and it was, without question, a labor for him.

But if you listen without prejudice, the message is pretty clear: Vance Joseph is the new head coach of the Denver Broncos, which, given that he’s an African-American, is no small accomplishment.

Joseph rose through the patriarchal and overwhelmingly white ranks of American football. After playing two years in the NFL, he coached at three different universities before landing a supporting role in the professional game. He then toiled for four different organizations (San Francisco, Houston, Cincinnati, and Miami) before finally being given the chance to be the number one guy in Denver.

That hill Joseph climbed bears no resemblance to Doug Pederson’s ascension to his current position as head coach of your Philadelphia Eagles.

Dipp delivered that message plainly, if incompletely. He didn’t do it with the ease and confidence that comes from being a native English speaker. That’s not surprising given his background.

“Dipp, a bilingual 29-year-old from Baja, California, has been with ESPN Deportes since 2013,” was noted in a Chicago Tribune reaction.

The blowback following Dipp’s Monday night appearance, chronicled harshly by the New York Post and so many other “traditional” media outlets, is merely an extension of the difficulty the average (i.e., Caucasian, middle-class, 18 to 49-year-old male) sports consumer, or sports talk radio host, has with the irresistible force of change. Even if Dipp’s sideline report was substandard — OK, poor — it’s hard to imagine a similarly lacking effort from a hot blonde woman or a young white guy temporarily breaking Twitter like Dipp did.

ESPN has taken a beating in media circles for the purge it ruthlessly executed on so many standard Caucasian voices in the past six months. “Ed Werder is great at his job!” “Jayson Stark knows more baseball than anyone!” “I liked Danny Kanell with Ryen Russillo!” Gone, gone, and gone, plus many more.

Concurrently, but perhaps not coincidentally, ESPN has made bold moves in the past year.

The 6 p.m. version of SportsCenter, the network’s flagship show, was handed over to youngish African-American talents Michael Smith and Jemele Hill and forcefully repackaged as “The Six.” Jessica Mendoza was installed as one of the voices of “Sunday Night Baseball.” And, just this week, Beth Mowins became the first woman to broadcast an NFL game in the United States in 30 years.

Thirty years.

A generation.

Predictably, for every voice that has praised the Worldwide Leader for its progressive efforts, there are hot takes suggesting that ESPN has undercut its brand in an effort to bring more people into the tent.

It simply isn’t true.

Nobody – NOBODY – gets a microphone and a camera angle at a place like ESPN without having put the requisite time in.

As noted earlier, Dipp worked for ESPN Deportes for four years before appearing on MNF this week. Mendoza, picture above, won two Olympic medals and three World Championships as a softball player before joining ESPN in 2007. Mowins began working with ESPN in 1994, calling “NCAA championships in basketball, softball, soccer, and volleyball – not to mention countless high profile college football games” before getting this week’s career-defining chance.

It takes a brittle, stinting heart to wish failure on these new voices. And whether you appreciate it or not, ESPN’s pivot to inclusion is really just good business.

That Caucasian, middle-class, 18 to 49-year-old male demographic, the one that has habitually and blindly bought cable packages (including ESPN) for decades, is either in transition at the low end or heading for extinction at the high end.

As noted previously by this very site, cord-cutting is real, and content producers like ESPN cannot just systematically program a wave of middle-aged Caucasian anchormen and color commentary guys ad infinitum while relying on the market to keep saying “that’s okay.”

That market is now being rightfully influenced by African-Americans, by Latin-Americans, and by Asian-Americans, and many of them are women. It’s only common sense to think that these paying customers would at least occasionally prefer to receive the content they are paying for from people and voices they can identify with.

If it makes you happy, you can continue to resist the influx of new and previously underexposed voices in your sports commentary and delivery.

You probably already know this. ESPN and other forward-thinking networks are not going to stop introducing new, diverse talent just because that’s what you say you want.

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85 Responses

  1. They should keep dipp for the entertainment factor and fire the annoying bitch. Maybe give Linda cone or Suzy c a shot if you want some tits calling a game . Throw fat fuck Rex in the studio

  2. You look like you’re at least 50 years old. You have fallen for the lefts trap of white guilt. I ask you, what have you done to oppress minority’s? If your answer is nothing, then you have nothing to feel guilty about. Your post is offensive. ESPN is dying for several reasons; the internet, their preachy left wing agenda, and honestly… the whole Bruce / Caitlin Jenner courage award thing left a really bad taste in a lot of peoples mouths. Can minority’s be good reporters / commentators ? Of course they can, but let it happen organically, don’t force it down peoples throats. The left needs to wake up. They actually thought Hillary would win! Crazy. Who are they going to give us in 2020? Palosi? Schumer? Pocahontas???? 90% of Americans are reasonable and moderate people.

      1. He is saying 90% total, including all races. I know the left doesn’t like to include everyone together, but this guy is right.

          1. “Snowflake” – A word that the 90% is programmed to use over and over. Used almost as much as “doesn’t fit the liberal narrative”.

            I am a Republican, moron. Try to keep up.

            Sadly, my party is being led by people trying to make a profit off the moronic 90%.

    1. I agree with this, but I don’t think it negates Phil’s point, which is that some people are going to hate someone solely because they’re not a white dude.

        1. Very true. Kyle and the other lefty’s throw this garbage out there all the time. The truth is, only about .01 % of white men are that racist. The vast majority are all in agreement that all jobs should be merit based. We all loved Stuart Scott, we all love Susie Colbert, we love them because they are good at their job and they are likable people. We could not care less about gender or race.

          1. Get real you racist pigs! Stuart Scott and Susie Colbert got their jobs because of affirmative action, not because of merit! The white men that run ESPN would never have hired them unless they were forced to. This country has shit on minority’s and women since day one! Only 1% are racist???? How do you explain Trump winning the election? Hillary was by far more qualified, but the racist and sexist pigs refused to have her as potus. The whole thing is disgusting. This country was based on diversity! Blacks, Hispanics, muslims… we need their contributions!

          2. Have you ever watched a football game? What about the commentating of a bunch of has beens gave you the impression they got their job based on merit?

        2. You either don’t know anyone or are blind. I know a number of people who aren’t “racist” in their personal lives, but definitely judge people differently for the same outcome depending on their race. I don’t necessarily think that’s straight racism, but more just subconscious reactions.

      1. Yea, those people are such a ridiculously small minority that they are inconsequential. He wrote an article preaching to 95% of the white population about the maybe 5% that are racist assholes. I didn’t like beth Mowins on monday night because he voice was grating and she just wasn’t that compelling. It had nothing to do with her being a female. Also Sergio Dipp was so far in over his head it was embarassing. The put an inexperienced latino guy in there just to virtue signal how diverse they are, and it ended up making them and him look like idiots.
        I come here for sports, not to be preached to about why i’m not allowed to feel the way I feel. If you want people coming back, don’t follow ESPN’s example, try sticking to sports. It will benefit you in the long run.

  3. The commenters on this site are the scum of the earth. This was a good piece, and I’m gonna continue to come back to this website if this kind of stuff keeps getting published.

  4. Pretty bold to put this out there considering the rhetoric that gets spewed on these message boards each day. As you can already see, people are not happy because their precious world isn’t as easy as they had thought because of their race. They might have to actually compete with other races and genders for opportunities and not get handed jobs because they’re white. All they have now is calling people like us liberals, leftists, Hillary supporters, etc. It’s literally all they have now because they cant think of a logical reason why it’s bad to have different people in different jobs. You hate what ESPN is doing, it’s pretty simple, watch FS1. They have great insightful minds like Clay Travis, Cowherd, Bayless, and Whitlock. Enjoy that.

    1. What about people being handed jobs just because they are not white males? This seems to be ESPN’s goal lately.

      1. HAHA a woman who’s been in broadcasting since 1994 was handed a job? Seems like the only one is that broadcast who was given a job was Rex Ryan.

        1. Yeah Punk! I showed the world I was more then qualified! And know what. ….LOOK AT ME , I AM HAVING THE TIME OF MY LIFE!!!

  5. Actually, no Phillip, “the message” wasn’t clear at all. That’s the crux of the criticism. Nobody had any idea what Sergio was talking about and the whole Monday night broadcast was bush league.

    I get that as an 18-34 white male my opinion and preferences on anything in CURRENT YEAR are invalidated instantly because of the color of my skin and the content of my chromosomes. Yet I still have those opinions and preferences and, in instances like Monday night, I’ll be taking them and my wallet to bed early instead of staying up like I have done in the past. And that’s not to say that I’m against diversity or ESPN trying to expand to new demographics but, if you’re going to do that you better make damn well sure that the person you’re throwing out there is up to the task.

    1. Hear hear …

      Can’t stand this crybaby pussy generation . Go grab yourself a beer and laugh once in awhile . Stop bitching and acting like the world owes you something . That’s not how it works

      1. The noted philosopher Karl Pilkington said it best:

        “We had the Bronze Age, the Iron Age. Now we’re in the Pissing-About Age.”

  6. I laugh at these losers who are so afraid of women and minorities. Good on ESPN. No one gets to that level without merit. If you have a problem with it, then get BETTER at your job or vocation. Stop expecting promotions/raises/opportunities to be handed to you. What a joke! I wish these reporters well and hope they stick with it and improve their craft.

  7. Another article to push a liberal agenda. Personally I don’t give a shit who calls a game, who the sideline reporter is, or what sex they are. They have to be in the very least competent in their duties. ESPN has become a liberal agenda pushing station. I don’t watch a sports station to hear what J. Hill thinks about the president or politics. I watch sports stations to hear about, you guessed it sports.

    I also don’t read a philly sports blog to hear a “writers” opinion on such things like because I am a white male in a certain age bracket I won’t understand or accept change. Nor do I want to hear the “writers” opinion on a situation such as the Michael Bennett incident. Which by the way has mysteriously disappeared from the media cycle. Why would that be?? Oh yeah, he was fu**king lying. But he is black, so there is no story there.

    Shilling was fired from ESPN for his political views, yet “minorities” can have free game on whatever they please.

    I thought this blog was going to get better with the changes, but clearly it has fallen in line with most of the other media outlets in terms of pushing the liberal agenda. This blog will soon go the way of the ESPN’s if something doesn’t change. I hope the success of this site does not depend on the number of paying subscribers, because if it does, I give it 2 to 3 months at best.

      1. I am not sure where you got that I was offended. The point is, if I want politics I will go to a news/political website. I want sports. I don’t give a shit what some bloggers opinion is of a political issue. Nice assumption, however you are incorrect. A number of the articles from the new “talent” have been left leaning at best. This is not the site for those opinions.

        1. You seem to be pretty anti-liberal. I think Tripod’s point was that it they were leaning a conservative agenda you wouldn’t care.

          1. Clearly you both are not getting the point. Political opinion, no matter what side you are on shouldn’t be on ESPN or even a sports blog for that matter. If it makes you feel better to think that I am offended, then so be it. Whatever makes you feel good.

        2. For someone who “doesn’t give a shit” you seem to be spending a lot of time focused on this matter and you’re expending quite a bit of energy voicing your anger about it, which tells me you’re offended. Otherwise, you wouldn’t waste your time clicking, reading, and/or watching. There are other channels, websites, and articles you could spend your time reading that stick to sports and only sports. Your efforts to complain about this are merely a fart in the wind.

          1. It’s nice that you know how I feel, or feel as though you can take the liberty to tell me how to spend my day. Judging by your multiple responses to my comments, you are the fart, and I am said wind.

        3. It’s great that you feel like you can take the liberty to tell media outlets what they do with their content, as if you wrote the rules of journalism: “Political opinion, no matter what side you are on shouldn’t be on ESPN or even a sports blog for that matter.” You’re right–you are the wind: you’re annoying and you’ll blow for a day or two then just fade away.

    1. ^^^^^^DING DING DING^^^^^^^ FYI you cant argue with them. Its like a bad version of the shadow game only instead of saying the same thing you are saying they regurgitate liberal racist nonsense.

  8. I laugh at these losers who are so afraid of women and minorities. Good on ESPN. No one gets to that level without merit. If you have a problem with it, then get BETTER at your job or vocation. Stop expecting promotions/raises/opportunities to be handed to you. What a joke! Work. For. It. I wish these reporters well and hope they stick with it and improve their craft.

  9. Good for ESPN. I thought Mowins was fine and even though Dipp bombed, he is definitely getting treated worse than vacuous eye candy like Britt “Do You Know Who I Am” McHenry would.

    I’m a white guy in his mid-30s and life is pretty damn good and pretty damn easy for me. I don’t get pulled over driving late at night, I don’t get extra scrutiny at the airport, and women don’t clutch their purses close when I walk past them.

    If the worst thing in your life right now is that you don’t like the young, black co-hosts of the 6:00 then things aren’t so bad, my friend.

  10. I don’t think my mind processes a whole social economical diatribe when I hear Sergio Dipp, I just thought, man he froze like a deer in the head lights and this is shit. Then I moved on with my day thinking we wouldn’t see that guy again. It’s not always this giant kerfuffle

  11. It’s funny that ESPN thinks black people & Mexicans have money for cable TV. They’re not watching guys.

  12. Haha. This comment section is going to be a bunch of straight cis white dudes crying like they need a pad change. All yelling about how every body is too sensitive. And then they cry about a woman announcing a football game, a sideline reporter being Hispanic and a sports center anchor tweeting.

    Man up, cissies.

    PS: Use a web browser with spell check.

  13. The whole package of reporters/commentators bombed. Dipp wouldn’t have exploded the internet if people weren’t already paying attention to the people off camera so closely because of mowins(even though he was reeeaallllyyyy terrible). I think she was fine commentary wise although she has a terrible sounding voice second only to Doris Burke who I thought she almost sounded like. But the biggest disappointment was Rex Ryan not talking about mowins toes! YOU HAD ONE JOB REX!

  14. What really makes me sick is seeing that white racist pig in the booth. 99% of the NFL is black, I think the broadcasters should reflect that.

  15. PHILIP KEIDEL clearly hates himself and is uncomfortable in his own skin. I’d wager he lost all his testosterone years ago as well.

  16. “Even if Dipp’s sideline report was substandard — OK, poor — it’s hard to imagine a similarly lacking effort from a hot blonde woman or a young white guy temporarily breaking Twitter like Dipp did.”….are you kidding me? FALSE….funny is funny dude and that was just funny. no one would listen to that and say “this is hilarious because he is hispanic!”….GTFO of here dude

  17. The real truth is that ESPN is owned by Disney and Disney has made a corporate decision to be more racially diverse, even if that means the best people aren’t in the jobs (I’m talking all jobs at Disney entities, not just on air talent). Acting like ESPN is some visionary is not really accurate. It’s a Disney corporate decision. Go and find someone who works at 6ABC and they will confirm all of this, they are owned by Disney.

  18. I assumed Dipp was a special needs person getting a once in a lifetime chance when I heard his report live. I have liked Beth Mowens for a long time though

  19. The assumption that voting for Trump automatically makes someone a racist is so laughable and why the left lost he election. A lot of people vote solely based on fiscal matters and social issues hold no weight on how they vote. The inability to see that and subsequent force feeding of social issues is why he won.

    This is such a manufactured issue. Bottom line … THAT BROADCAST SUCKEDDDDDD. If Mowins and DIpp didn’t sound ridiculously awful to the point where casual viewer were like wait, what the hell is going on here … there would be no issue, no story.

    BTW, I’m sure it’s lost on no one that CB is blatantly turning this into a thing to generate traffic, conversation, etc … very fanatic-like tactic

    1. I don’t think Trump voters are all racist. Dumb, maybe. And before you get guard up, you can call me dumb for voting for Hillary. Both were awful candidates but everyone had to make a choice between the lesser of two evils. But you cannot deny that there is a good portion of Trump voters who are racists. They put it out there for everyone to see. I just get why anyone has an issue with someone getting a shot at a job. So you thought they were bad. So what. It was one game. If one day was the criteria for your whole job, then we’d all be out of a job. The Dipp guy is Hispanic and they brought him on to give a Hispanic’s point of view. He didn’t do well since English is his second language. He probably does very well on ESPN Deportes though. It’s pretty simple really, if you don’t like that ESPN is trying to be more diverse, there are plenty of other outlets to get sports. But when you say that blacks, Hispanics, and women are getting opportunities because of how they look and aren’t qualified, you are just ignorant. There are plenty of white men who have gotten jobs that people think they didn’t deserve, so where’s that outrage?

      1. So racism only goes one way in your book? BLM chants of kill white people isn’t racist at all. And ALL of the BLMers are Hillary supporters. Love your logic. And yes those you mentioned are getting opportunities because of their race, sex, etc…It’s called Affirmative Action. If 2 candidates are rated equally, chances are the “minority” will get the position because of the fact they are a “minority”

        1. You are hopeless. You are so anti-“liberal” that you don’t even make sense. Tell me something, what was Rex Ryan’s qualification for being a broadcaster? What’s his background or prior broadcasting experience that he should’ve gotten a Monday night Football gig? He wasn’t handed a job? But Mowins who has been a broadcaster for ESPN since 1994 isn’t qualified? You are a hypocrite and seemingly against Affirmative Action.

          1. I am not against AA, nor did I ever say that Rex was qualified for any position, hell he wasn’t qualified to be a head coach. I am not anti liberal, I am anti politics in/on sports blogs, stations, sites. As I originally said, I don’t care who the broadcasters are, or what their sex, race, religion, or what they had for breakfast, I simply turn the sound off.

        2. You obviously don’t know what Affirmative Action is.

          It is about equal access to jobs – not giving less qualified people jobs over qualified people.

          See? He was right. You are dumb.

  20. I agree with your overall point, but the below line is plain stupid.

    “Even if Dipp’s sideline report was substandard — OK, poor — it’s hard to imagine a similarly lacking effort from a hot blonde woman or a young white guy temporarily breaking Twitter like Dipp did.”


  21. I stopped watching ESPN years ago (except for live games) because I couldn’t stand Chris Berman. Am I racist?

    Honest question. I thought Dipp said he was born and grew up in California. I assume he was educated in the public school system or private schools. I don’t think his mastery of the English language (which seemed excellent to me) was the issue. He was just flat out terrible and needs to improve. His apology/explanation video was actually more confusing than his broadcast. Not every criticism leveled at a non-white person comes from a place of racism. I know that many do, but not all.

  22. Love what you guys have done with the website. All the new breakdowns of the Eagles game and Hoskins and 76ers jerseys, etc. All great stuff. Subscribing was definitely worth it. Keep it up!

    But this……… was just not good. Someone in the comments mentioned this already, but how many people do you know actually think like this? Like who is this post addressing? Kyle mentioned before that the comment section does not typically represent the average reader on CB, so if you take them out of the equation, I’m willing to bet that most CB readers are well-informed, accepting people, who don’t really care about your race/sex, as long as you are good at your job. Kyle mentioned it in the Mike Miss post too, that it’s okay to criticize a black person if he’s a bad writer, or in this case a Hispanic person if he’s a bad reporter. I doubt anyone reading this site criticized or laughed at Dipp because he was Hispanic. That just doesn’t make any sense for this type of audience. If this article was supposed to address the 50+ year old buffoons who listen to sports talk radio, then okay, but why is it on this site? Who here (aside from the idiot comment trolls) thinks like that??

  23. If you truly belive in equality then you look and judge people all the same – good and bad. Sergio Dipps MNF fiasco wasn’t any different then the “boom goes the dynamite guy” who happened to be a white male, or the other thousand clips you can find on line with other reporters messing up. The difference between me and a liberal is I can equally laugh at all people the same vs some white guilt male who must provide a crutch for anyone that is unlike him. “But….he’s a Mexican from espn deportes..but but maybe English wasn’t his first language.” Or maybe , he just choked. Or maybe he shouldn’t be put in a spot he wasnt ready for by ESPN just so they can feel great about themselves.

  24. This article reeks of white guilt! This is a some weak writing… as weak as the author’s 210 yard slap fade drives on the golf course!

  25. Sergio Dipp was clearly not ready for prime time and it showed. I guarantee you he would not have been slotted into that spot if he were NOT Hispanic. Beth Mowins is a quality sports broadcaster who did a nice job. Whether her voice is shrill or not, that is for the audience to decide. What I do believe is that ESPN continues to jam its political view of the world down the throats of its audience and….surprise, surprise, a significant portion of their potential audience resents those efforts. Whatever happened to the concept of “The customer is always right”? Thus a significant portion of their potential audience reacts to their social agenda by simply turning to another of the nearly 300 channels available on to them on most cable systems. ESPN continues to bleed revenue due to its cost and the fact that its product has become much loss entertaining, in part because it turns off a significant portion of its potential audience with its views that its audience really has no interest in hearing. It has enough problems without managing to tick off potential viewers with its concepts of social justice. They have a right to present their product any way they like. Their audience has a right to not watch it, or boycott their advertisers or however else they wish to react. Similarly, I have a right to pay or not pay for Crossing Broad based upon its content. If it continues to be more of drivel like this story, I will exercise my free right to opt out.

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