By Ken Reed
Brett McMurphy has long been a journalist in every positive sense of the word. In short, he’s a pro’s pro.
But ESPN decided to let McMurphy go as part of a layoff in April 2017. McMurphy still had 18 months left on his contract at the time and instead of taking another job and letting ESPN out of the remaining months on his deal, he kept working independently.
Recently, he broke the Urban Meyer-Zach Smith domestic abuse scandal at Ohio State on his Facebook page. It’s the college sports story of the year and ironically, ESPN paid McMurphy — via his still in effect salary — to break the story on Facebook instead of ESPN.
McMurphy also independently broke the Scott Frost to Nebraska story. Count that as another miss for ESPN.
ESPN’s journalistic integrity has been in question for at least the past decade. True, the sports network still has a few quality journalists like Bob Ley, who does excellent work, including hosting the investigative journalism show Outside the Lines, but they are the exception. Today, too many of ESPN’s “talents” are childish entertainers like Chris Berman and not true journalists.
It is sweet revenge for both McMurphy and everyone who longs for more honest and in-depth sports journalism that McMurphy beat the self-proclaimed Worldwide Leader on one of the biggest sports stories of the year.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of FansPrint
- League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.