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Former ESPN Reporter Says Colleagues Advised Her to Take ‘Conservative’ Out of Twitter Bio

Former ESPN reporter Britt McHenry / Instagram
• July 27, 2017 4:27 pm

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Former ESPN reporter Britt McHenry said that she is having an "awakening" as a vocal conservative while she weighs her options for her next career move.

Since being laid off from ESPN last month, McHenry has felt liberated and free to express her political opinions without being scolded by her employer, according to a new Washington Post profile piece.

McHenry, who formerly interned at Fox News' political division, said that she did not realize how liberal ESPN was until she started expressing her personal political views.

"It's across the board. It's all sports media. I'm not trying to attack my former employer," McHenry said. "Why is the other perspective not represented? Because a lot of sports fans still feel that way. … Who's really voicing it? And I can. And maybe I'm crazy, but at least you know sitting down with me, I'm not making up what I'm saying."

McHenry said conservative viewpoints at ESPN are dramatically underrepresented, pointing to the fact that her social media accounts were monitored for political content during her three-year tenure there, the Post reported.

(The network's guidelines urge on-air personalities not to put anything on social media that they wouldn't say on air, and an update during the presidential campaign cautioned against political editorializing. An ESPN spokesman declined to comment for this story.)

McHenry said some of her colleagues encouraged her to take the word "conservative" out of her Twitter bio. Although she took their advice, she said that she never lost her conservative views.

McHenry said that she was not open to express her opinion because she was a bureau reporter.

"I wasn't deemed a personality," she said. "That's what SportsCenter's shifting to. I would have loved to be included in that, but I wasn't."

"I saw the move towards commentary and personality in sports in general, and I just felt like why isn't this counterpoint being talked about? When there's a panel talking about how great Colin Kaepernick's stance is, why wasn't there a person to counter that? So it's nice to be able to kind of say things. And I don't care if people hate on me, I really don't," McHenry said.

McHenry published a blog post early this month that castigated former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for his anti-America tweet and his disparaging comments towards police officers. While she received a lot of heat from liberals for her blog post, she said that she was amazed by the positive reactions to her opinions.

ESPN has not only become more political over the last couple years, but the network's commentary has become staunchly liberal. The ESPNW section of the ESPN website published a poem tribute back in April to Assata Shakur, who was convicted of killing a police officer and is currently on the FBI's "Most Wanted Terrorists" list. The website later removed the poem and apologized for the "oversight in the editorial process."

ESPN has also seen its viewership among conservatives decrease between 2015 and 2016 in 34 of 43 television markets, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

Published under: Sports