The fourth and final broadcast network that carries the NFL has joined the parent companies of the other three in pausing advertising buys on social media service X (formerly Twitter). In the wake of X owner Elon Musk retweeting and positively replying to antisemitic comments, as well as a Media Matters For America investigation that showed corporate ads appearing next to racist and antisemitic posts, companies including Disney (parent of ESPN and ABC), Comcast (parent of NBC), and Paramount Global (parent of CBS) all paused their advertising on the service, as did Apple, Warner Bros. Discovery, IBM and more. And Fox Sports has now joined them, as NBC News’ Ben Goggin wrote Wednesday:

Here’s more from Goggin’s piece on the advertiser pullout and X’s lawsuit against Media Matters:

[Fox Sports, Ubisoft, and Paris Hilton’s 11:11 Media] joined Disney, Apple and IBM in pausing ads on the platform in the wake of a series of articles from Media Matters for America, a progressive watchdog organization that reported that major ad campaigns were running on antisemitic content on X. The advertiser pullout also followed Musk’s endorsement of an antisemitic conspiracy theory posted on X, which suggested that Jewish people were stoking the replacement of white people via group political action — an antisemitic conspiracy theory known as the “great replacement” that was linked to shootings at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and a Tops grocery store in Buffalo, New York. 

Since advertisers have begun to leave the platform, Musk and Yaccarino have both said they stand against antisemitism and for free speech while going on the offensive against Media Matters. 

On Monday, X sued Media Matters, which reports on politicians, journalists and media outlets, with both Musk and Yaccarino criticizing the framing of the articles and their methodology, while Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced an investigation into the organization for potential fraud. Media Matters has stood by its reporting.

Musk has also been calling Media Matters “pure evil” and posting about “a graveyard filled with my enemies”:

But to date, the NFL (one of X’s largest advertisers) has not elected to join these prominent companies in pausing advertising on the platform. They’ve had a partnership with that service since 2013, and they’re sticking with them. That’s despite reports indicating that the league’s ads have also appeared next to some of these antisemitic posts and accounts.

NFL chief media and business officer Brian Rolapp told CNBC’s Julia Boorstin Tuesday that “I think X is in a very difficult business because of the content moderation that they have to deal with” and “We continue to work with them because our fans are clearly there.”

And NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said in a statement that “The NFL unequivocally denounces all forms of hate speech and discrimination.” He added “We’re aware of instances of hate speech on X and have expressed our concerns directly to X both in the past and again in the last few days.” We’ll see if the league changes its approach after Fox has now joined the companies pausing advertising on X, or if they stick with expressing concerns.

[NBC News]

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.