Last week we told you about Steve Young working at ESPN, but only doing so to help business at his equity firm. In essence, Young told Bloomberg that he really didn’t work hard at his Monday NFL Countdown gig, spending an hour or two to prep, spends time on his business and when the game starts, barely pays attention to the game. He admitted that he might have quit ESPN had it not been for his partners compelling him to stay.
It wasn’t a good look for Young especially in saying that he was putting in minimal effort for ESPN.
Well, Young is doing a bit of backtracking today on TV. He went on Bloomberg TV to discuss the article. He said he did the article to “encourage athletes to think about their futures,” and to share his expertise in the financial world as well as in football. He told Bloomberg that the article did a disservice to ESPN and the people he works with:
— Bloomberg TV (@BloombergTV) February 13, 2017
In addition, he said he has spent more time at ESPN than his playing days with the San Francisco 49ers. In a statement to the Sporting News, he explained his thinking about the article:
“I participated in this story to encourage athletes to think about their futures because I want to inspire them to think this way. I have worked hard to build an expertise in two different fields, and I am proud of that. I have built one over the course of 35 years as a football player and analyst. The other, in private equity, I’ve established over 18 years. I’m focused on being excellent at both — and without sacrificing one for the other,” Young said. “Staying connected to the game and working for ESPN are very meaningful to me. In no way did I intend to suggest otherwise.”
ESPN senior vice president of events and studio production Stephanie Druley said Young is a valuable asset to the Worldwide Leader:
“Steve is one of the most respected analysts in football and he remains committed to his job at ESPN. His producers and colleagues have noted his work ethic internally, his level of preparation and the effort he brings each week,” Druley said in a statement to SN. “In addition to analyzing ‘Monday Night Football,’ he watches games, actively participates in production meetings and contributes weekly analysis to our studio shows using a camera that ESPN installed in his office. He is one of the veterans of our analyst team and he’s constantly making fans smarter about the game.”
ESPN is very protective of its reputation so it’s not surprising that it had Young going on TV to talk about the article. While Young has shown that he doesn’t need TV, ESPN wouldn’t work this hard to have him to make the rounds if it didn’t want to keep him around. It’s been certainly an interesting week for Young.