Well, that didn’t take long.  Jason Whitlock was officially gone from ESPN for about 14 whole minutes when he decided to launch a couple Twitter barbs against his former employer, as well as constant-thorn-in-his-side Greg Howard from Deadspin.

First, Whitlock’s tweets about ESPN, in which he accuses the network of a double standard – suspensions for criticism of white commissioners (Bill Simmons-Roger Goodell) and no discipline for threats of black NBA players (Stephen A. Smith-Kevin Durant).  Whitlock has never been afraid to criticize ESPN when he isn’t working for Bristol and it looks like we’ve returned to those days.

You know what… Whitlock is right on the money here.  It’s a huge double standard.  How can ESPN say that threatening NBA players is ok when they’ve been so defensive and quick to act in other cases?  Bill Simmons gets suspended three weeks for calling Roger Goodell a liar and Stephen A. Smith can go on the air and threaten Kevin Durant’s livelihood and career and… nothing?  How is that acceptable?

But it was Whitlock’s tweets about Deadspin and Greg Howard that made his tweets about ESPN look like mere child’s play.  After Deadspin and Howard had posted damning longform journalism about the collapse of Whitlock’s reign at The Undefeated, it was only going to be so long before Whitlock responded strongly in public.  And did he ever with this fire, accusing Howard of not writing his own stuff, Deadspin of being a “hipster gang,” and calling Howard his own personal beat writer:

How did Howard respond?  By writing another huge expose inside the fall of The Undefeated and examining ESPN’s lack of desire to truly see it succeed in the way that it could.  It’s a fascinating piece entitled, “How ESPN’s Fear of the Truth Defeated Black Grantland.”  After reading it, the likelihood of actually seeing ESPN’s African American vertical launch has gone from right around 50% in my mind to 25%.  Howard also promises more is coming for Whitlock:

This is just starting to get good.  The best writers let their journalism do the talking and so far, what Howard has written about The Undefeated has been powerful.  If it wasn’t accurate, wouldn’t Whitlock still be running the site?

Whitlock’s promise of The Explanation 2 is also interesting.  When he goes on to host his own FS1 show, maybe that’s when we’ll hear more.  Whitlock ranting at ESPN and Deadspin is probably in Jamie Horowitz’s manifesto to draw more ratings.  Whatever the case, I just hope Whitlock and Deadspin make up so they don’t revoke his “Good Writering Award.”

About Matt Yoder

Award winning sportswriter at The Comeback and Awful Announcing. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.

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