A giant wrecking ball was taken to the eclectic sportswriting site Sports on Earth yesterday as the vast majority of the staff was laid off. You can catch our full recap on the demolition job here. Needless to say it was an unfortunate day for the industry. Sports on Earth had collected a diverse, talented roster of writers and had focused on quality sportswriting versus trying to turn a profit based on WAG slideshows.
The most fascinating, and troubling, element of the Sports on Earth fallout was the staff taking to Twitter as their fates were being decided in real-time. Many wondered aloud about their future and shared with followers the inevitable moment when the call finally came.
The way the Sports on Earth’s demise played out for the world to see on Twitter has now drawn criticism from within and without. Former Sports on Earth staffer Jorge Arangure tweeted the most condemning message to his one-time employer:
Shameful how Gannett/USA Today and MLBAM treated the full timers at @SportsonEarth. Disgusting asshole corporate behavior.
— Jorge Arangure (@jorgearangure) August 6, 2014
And on ESPN2 last night, Keith Olbermann named MLBAM and USA Today his worst person in the sports world:
An ugly day for the industry, made worse by how it was handled… or in this case, not handled by USA Today and MLBAM. Again, there’s no word on what the future Sports on Earth will be (although we know Will Leitch and Mike Tanier will be a part of it) but it will have a lot of work to do to restore its image after this.