Retired baseball player Johnny Damon helped the Yankees and Red Sox win world championships, and he was always a positive and quotable athlete. Today on Fox & Friends he advised ESPN to stick to sports -- a phrase the network loves to hate.
Fox & Friends hosts asked Damon about ESPN co-anchor Jemele Hill's Monday attack on President Trump and his supporters. She angrily called them "racists" and "white supremacists" on her Twitter account. Damon responded:
I want to watch sports for sports. ... If ESPN turns into a political arena, I know a lot of people just won't watch.
Damon also likened sports media wading too deeply into politics to MTV, which moved away from its original mission of airing music videos.
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Damon had previously campaigned with Donald Trump the candidate, and today he called the president a "great guy" who is doing a good job so far. Damon complained about people in Washington who oppose the president's agenda to make America great again "for the wrong reasons."
Never one to avoid a battle, President Trump issued a Tweet today criticizing ESPN's poor programming decisions:
Trump's past history of sparring with opponents, combined with the insistence of ESPN talkers to go political makes it very likely this battle will continue. I would not expect either side to back down. In fact, by drawing attention to the ESPN program SC6 with Michael and Jemele, Hill may be buying time for this ratings flop.