ESPN in Trouble For a Really Bad Fantasy Football Sketch Idea
The fine folks at ESPN are running away as fast as they can from a sketch produced for a stunt programming idea which showed four rows of white "Fantasy Football" owners bidding at a auction on a black football player.
And no, there's not a universe where this is--or was a good idea, yet it got green-lit anyway.
The segment was part of the 4-letter word's "Fantasy Football Marathon", 28-hours of non-stop, way too long promotion of Fantasy Football that went 27-hours too long. It featured a rotating set of anchors and guests talking about the best and worst choices for people playing Fantasy Football and analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of players and teams.
Talking about Auction Leagues we get. There are tons of "Auction" leagues out there where people get a set amount of money to "Bid" on players for their team. Once they've hit their budget, the team is finished. And yes, something like that is difficult to visualize. But having black athletes auctioned off to the least diverse looking crowd you can find was a TERRIBLE idea.
People who play in auction leagues know what they are getting into and how the process works. You don't need to show them. Sit at the roundtable and talk about it---with an explainer for those who may not have played it before. But don't try to be "Cute" or "Funny" like this.
For their part, ESPN did later apologize, telling USA Today; "Auction drafts are a common part of fantasy football, and ESPN’s segments replicated an auction draft with a diverse slate of top professional football players. Without that context, we understand the optics could be portrayed as offensive, and we apologize,”
Along with offending most fans, New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr was stunned the skit got on Television....