Sports Illustrated Tennessee covers. Painted murals of Sports Illustrated covers inside the new University of Tennessee-themed Graduate Hotel located at 1706 Cumberland Ave. in Knoxville on Friday, August 7, 2020. Kns Graduatehotel Bp

There’s a significant amount of uncertainty ahead around the future of Sports Illustrated. Friday saw The Arena Group, which has published that brand since 2019 under a deal with SI owner Authentic Brands Group, tell employees via email that their license to publish the brand has been revoked over a missed payment and that “We will be laying off staff that work on the SI brand.”

The full scope of those layoffs is yet unclear. Some SI employees have said they have not been laid off, and even key Authentic figures like CEO Jamie Salter have suggested there could be ways that a deal could yet be reached with Arena for continued SI publication. And Authentic figures have said SI “will not go dark,” and there’s been discussion of Authentic talking to other potential SI publishers.

However, it’s not yet clear if any of the current writers’ contracts could be transferred to another publisher or if a new publisher would be starting from scratch (potentially hiring SI veterans, but perhaps not). And it’s far from clear what’s ahead for the current SI staff. But there have been many tweets from some SI staffers that appear to indicate they’ve been told their time there is ending (with some saying their time is up immediately, and others saying it will end after required notice periods). Here are a few of those, including NFL editor and union head Mitch Golditch, MLB writers Stephanie Apstein and Emma Baccelleri, and more:

Friday also saw a lot of tributes to SI from athletes once featured there. Here are a few of those:

We’ll see what becomes of SI in the time ahead. But Friday’s posts certainly indicate the power the brand still has.

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.