A Sports Illustrated logo from their YouTube page. A Sports Illustrated logo from their YouTube page. (Sports Illustrated on YouTube.)

Friday’s announcement of mass layoffs and license revocation has put the future of Sports Illustrated in serious jeopardy.

That message prompted a quick response from SI’s union, which spoke out against the planned mass layoffs.

Longtime former SI writer Richard Deitsch then shared the text of the email sent out to staffers Friday morning.


Ross Levinsohn, the former CEO of The Arena Group who oversaw SI, resigned from the company’s board Friday, citing “the destruction of Sports Illustrated’s storied brand and newsroom” as his reasoning. And while SI owner Authentic Brands Group has said the publication “will not go dark” after this license revocation, it’s far from clear what’s next for SI and for its staffers.

Across social media, both current and former SI staffers are sharing tributes to the magazine, discussing their time working there, and lamenting the potential end of the publication.

Jenny Vrentas, who was with the magazine from 2013-22 said, “I’m heartbroken. This was the outcome many of us feared — but fought like hell to prevent — when SI was sold in 2019. Solidarity with all of the hard-working & incredibly talented SI Union members who will do what they’ve always done: Fight to preserve the soul of the place.”

Jeff Pearlman, who was with SI from 1996-03, said, “I always knew Life Magazine was an iconic brand turned ghost. I never thought it would happen to SI. Today, it happened to SI. I am heartbroken.”

Jonathan Jones, who was with SI from 2016-19, posted, “Absolutely gutted for the people at Sports Illustrated. Corporate ghouls have unnecessarily ruined a proud institution and the lives of people who have helped maintain what’s been left of its reputation.”

Stephanie Apstein, who still worked for the magazine until Friday’s news, shared the following, “This is devastating, for people who love SI now and for people who have ever loved it. As for me, I’m told I still have a job for the next 90 days. I will be spending the first 20 of them on my honeymoon, which began yesterday. See you guys at spring training, maybe.”