Over the weekend, the NBA’s top newsbreaker, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, found himself in hot water over a “f*ck you” email response to Missouri senator Josh Hawley after the latter emailed him upset over the league’s restrictive list of social justice sayings, wondering why something like “Back The Blue” wasn’t an option.
Woj’s response drew him a suspension from the Worldwide Leader, and in the aftermath he’s received a great deal of support from the NBA community, with fans and even some players adopting a #FreeWoj hashtag. On Sunday, that got the biggest co-sign from the biggest name in the sport, as LeBron James tweeted out #FreeWoj.
Now, this is notable for a couple reasons. For one, Woj and LeBron have never exactly been especially close, as Woj has written some highly critical columns on LeBron in the past — particularly during his time at Yahoo. On top of that, LeBron taking the side of Wojnarowski in this instance is notable given ESPN’s partnership with the NBA and that, well, LeBron is LeBron.
What makes this entire situation so fascinating is the entire thing was birthed from a bad-faith effort against the league’s messaging, where the entire point was to get a response of some kind. Sending a “f*ck you” response from his company email account, while surely cathartic, wasn’t a wise choice, and left ESPN in a difficult spot. Whatever they did played right into the hands of Hawley and those that already love to yell at ESPN for becoming too political — ironically in a situation where a politician inserted himself into a sports story.
Now, you have LeBron James and other players calling for Woj to be released from his suspension, and only furthers the weirdness of this entire story.