Joanne Chesimard and another big fumble at ESPN


Where do we rank this one?    Let’s put it somewhere between carelessness and ignorance.

According to news reports:

An ESPN site targeting female sports fans on Thursday removed a poem paying homage to a convicted cop killer after “an oversight in the editorial process” led to the poem being published several days ago, the embattled sports giant told Fox News.

DaMaris Hill’s poem “Revolution” had led the April 25 feature “Five Poets on the New Feminism,” which was produced “in honor of National Poetry month…to reflect on resistance, redefining feminism and movement,” according to a site description. But Hill’s poem opened with the dedication “(for Assata Shakur),” honoring the one-time Black Liberation Army member who has been hiding out in Cuba to avoid finishing a prison term for her murder rap.

“There was an oversight in the editorial process for selecting the poems for the ‘Five Poets on the New Feminism’ feature on espnW,” a spokesperson told Fox News in an email. “Dr. DaMaris Hill is a respected professor and poet, who submitted this poem based upon her personal feelings toward Assata Shakur. While the editors welcomed a contribution from a notable writer and chose it as a reflection of this one poet’s experience, upon further review we have decided it is not an appropriate selection for our site and have removed the piece from the feature.”

Later Thursday, the title of the feature had been changed to “Four Poets on the New Feminism,” Hill’s poem was gone and an editor’s note at the bottom of the page informed readers of the changes.

Seriously, are people that out of touch with reality at ESPN?   All they had to do was google her name.   They would have learned that Chesimard was convicted of fatally shooting a New Jersey state trooper in 1973, escaped from prison and fled to Cuba in the 1980’s.   Last, but not least, she is on the list of the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists.

Yesterday, I read of massive downsizing going on at ESPN.    They lost 12 million subscribers over 5 years!  We are not happy to see people lose their jobs.   At the same time, it’s not very smart to feature a poem from a woman convicted of killing a state trooper.

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1 thought on “Joanne Chesimard and another big fumble at ESPN”

  1. I’d put it somewhere between trying too hard to be fashionably “correct” and knowing that if you (oops!) make a “mistake” that you would never, ever make in the opposite direction, it’ll cost you little or nothing. Just ask Bill Maher what it cost him to call Sarah Palin a c_nt, or better yet, ask him how much he gained (but don’t bother asking him if he’d ever do anything of the sort against a forbidden target like Michelle Obama, for instance, because he’s a prick, not an idiot).

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