Brown was among the growing chorus of people who have broadcasted their support for ESPN staffers who were fired Wednesday as part of a massive organizational restructuring at the Worldwide Leader. The acting head coach of the Warriors started his press conference on Wednesday with some thoughts about fired ESPN reporter Ethan Strauss, who covered Golden State until earlier in the day.
Brown mentioned Strauss and the more than 100 people at ESPN who were given their walking papers, including many notable names both on the broadcast and web side of the sports network.
Before we get started, I heard today that Ethan lost his job. A lot of people at ESPN obviously got laid off. This is obviously an exciting time for us as an organization and the city, there’s a lot of good vibes going on, but that’s the reality of the world today. So think of him and everybody else that goes through that, not only in sports but everyday life. Ethan—we’re thinking about you if you’re out there.
It’s rare for a reporter’s subject to show public support for a media member, but it goes to show how significant the ESPN layoffs truly are. These are not loose ends or faulty parts ESPN is discarding, but important, valuable members of the sports media that are caught in a situation very far outside their control.
Brown joined on-air talent such as Bob Ley in wishing those laid off well publicly. Ley used the final segment of Outside the Lines to address the layoffs on Wednesday. Later on, Rachel Nichols did the same on The Jump and posted the video to her Instagram account.
Nichols was emotional in addressing the departure of her long-time colleagues and the shifting winds of the network she has called home for most of her career.
Industries change and shift, and it stinks when actual human people have their lives thrown into chaos because of that.
Today, it was this network. Yesterday it was Coca Cola announcing it was cutting 1,200 jobs. Tomorrow it will be somewhere else and it always stinks. And here it stinks because we will miss some very cool and smart and hard-working people every day who made things better and brighter around here. So thank you to them.
Brown and Nichols focusing on the human element of this story is apt. Today is not the day to focus on the volatile sports opinions that we often write about, but the humanity that’s impacted when those forums for conversation and controversy are impacted by layoffs. Many of these layoffs are not the talking heads who aggravate and prod on air but the hard-working reporters behind the scenes who break the stories they debate later.