ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale is known for his enthusiasm about basketball, charitable fundraising, concerts and movies, but he’s also apparently very into fact-checking political speeches. On Friday, Vitale tweeted a link to a USA Today article fact-checking Donald Trump’s Republican National Convention speech from Thursday night, and commented on it in typical Dickie V style. He’s since deleted his tweet, but here’s a screencap of it:

Dick Vitale tweet Trump

That tweet would appear to violate ESPN’s political commentary guidelines distributed in January:

We should refrain from political editorializing, personal attacks or “drive-by” comments regarding the candidates and their campaigns (including but not limited to on platforms such as Twitter or other social media). Approved commentaries on sports-specific issues, or seeking responses from candidates on relevant news issues, are appropriate. However perceived endorsements should be avoided. (In others cases, guidelines, acceptable commentary and political advocacy should prevail).

So, that may be part of why Vitale deleted it. ESPN certainly hasn’t enforced that policy on everyone, though, so it’s not certain they would have punished him even if he left it up. Another rationale for deleting this one is the anti-Trump sentiment here may not fully represent Vitale’s views; he’s also said he has problems with both candidates and with politicians in general.

Vitale even jokingly said he might write in Coach K:

So, Vitale certainly isn’t pushing a pro-Hillary Clinton agenda here given that he appears to be criticizing her as much as Trump, but his political tweets and thoughts on the “lies” from both sides are certainly provocative, and perhaps not what the bosses in Bristol want to hear. They might prefer he stick to talking about Celine Dion.

[@DickieV on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.

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