Michelle Beadle, one of the co-hosts of “Get Up,” ESPN’s morning show, had some interesting comments about football on Thursday. On the show, she went in hard on Urban Meyer and his punishment, but also talked about how scandals like that affect her football fandom.
Here’s a clip of Beadle talking about Meyer.
Beadle went on to talk about her current relationship with football. You can see the entire clip on The Big Lead, but here’s a transcript of what she said:
“There’s a reason why this will be the second season I don’t watch NFL and I don’t spend my Saturdays watching college football either. I believe that the sport of football has set itself up to be in a position where it shows itself in the bigger picture to not really care about women — they don’t really care about people of color, but we won’t get into that for NFL either — but as a woman I feel like a person who has been marginalized.”
“And every single one of these stories that comes out, every single time, pushes me further and further away. I realize they don’t care, but for me it’s opened up my weekends. I appreciate you for giving that to me. I don’t care anymore. I’ve lost the ability to be surprised.”
Beadle’s certainly not alone in giving up football over incidents like the horrible Urban Meyer/Zach Smith scandal. But her comments are interesting in light of what Jimmy Pitaro, ESPN’s president, said to the media last week. Via the Washington Post, Pitaro said he very much wants to repair the network’s relationship with the NFL.
“I’ve spent a lot of time with league executives,” Pitaro said Friday. “The relationship is incredibly important to us. That programming cuts across everything we’re doing on the studio side, on the original content side. And we’ve made that very clear to the NFL.”
One of ESPN’s major personalities said on the air that she doesn’t watch the NFL anymore, just as the network’s president is trying to repair their relationship. That’s very bad timing.
There’s more bad timing afoot, though. Just a day before Beadle admitted she has stopped watching football, ESPN announced that 11 football analysts would join “Get Up” throughout the season.
“Get Up” has been struggling in ratings, and adding so much football content is an effort to change that and find more viewers. But the show is co-hosted by someone who said on that very show that she doesn’t watch football. That doesn’t seem like a strategy that will cause viewers to flock to ESPN every morning (or any morning), no matter how many football experts they cram into the show.
To be fair to Beadle, just because she’s not watching football games anymore doesn’t mean she’s pretending the sport doesn’t exist. Talking about it on “Get Up” is part of her job, and she can read and watch clips to prepare. But she hosts a sports show and loudly proclaimed that she doesn’t watch NFL or college football anymore. That will cause people to question her credibility when talking about football, and as we head into football season, that’s not good news for “Get Up” or for ESPN.
H/T: The Big Lead
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