ESPN's NBA Today Photo credit: ESPN

Hot mic f-bombs get dropped all the time, but ESPN clearly forgot to censor some colorful language while airing a clip on NBA Today.

During a segment that ironically is called “Hot Mic Summer,” ESPN’s NBA Today featuring Malika Andrews, Ramona Shelburne and Marc Spears played a clip of Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges talking about Ben Simmons from Paul George’s podcast.

Obviously, pro athletes utter the occasional f-bomb, and George’s podcast allows for the occasional f-bomb, but the Disney-owned sports network tries their best to avoid any swearing linear TV. Somehow, this podcast clip was left uncensored before ESPN aired it.

“I think he’s in a good place, like, we’re close,” Bridges told George of Simmons. “I think he just feels that like, he has a f*cking lot of friends and we all f*ck with him.”

Oops. Those “f*cks” were aired unedited on ESPN, prompting Andrews to take note of the blunder when they came back from the clip. “Next time I will make sure to have the bleep button there,” Andrews said with a laugh.

Nice of her to accept the blame, but obviously, the aired f-bombs weren’t Andrews’ fault. It would seem highly unlikely that she was tasked with editing the video before throwing the show to the clip. Maybe the person responsible for censoring the f-bombs was so stunned by Bridges claiming Simmons is chatty with his Nets’ teammates that they forgot to edit the clip.

It shouldn’t be a big deal that ESPN didn’t give two f*cks about airing two f-bombs at 3:30pm on a Wednesday, but this also isn’t the first time they accidentally aired a video clip with unedited f-bombs. In 2021, ESPN aired a preview from their 30 for 30 Once Upon a Time in Queens which featured Lenny Dykstra using some colorful language.

Live f-bombs getting picked up accidentally by hot mics are tough to control, but you would think ESPN has some sort of protocol in place to prevent it from happening with pre-recorded clips. Maybe it’s time to just start letting f-bombs fly. The FCC doesn’t care. The audience probably doesn’t care, considering the amount of profanity they’re already hearing on most podcasts and digital shows. If swearing is ever going to be normalized on ESPN, Pat McAfee will probably be the person to do it.

[NBA Today]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to