On defence, ESPN is dodging some big sport stories

Duncan Riley - Author

Jun. 15 2013, Updated 8:07 p.m. ET

The all-powerful ESPN sports media network is choosing not to report on some pretty big stories recently: the Erin Andrews peephole video and the Ben Roethlisberger sexual assault case. It’s not hard to figure out why.

In the case of Andrews, at least, ESPN is looking very much like it’s taking the high moral ground. Their star sideline reporter has had her privacy grossly invaded with not only illegally obtained video of her in a hotel room propagating its way across the Internet, but even mainstream publications like the New York Post publishing screen grabs on their front page. In contrast, ESPN’s stated decision to not report on the story, big as it has been across the Web, looks like a prudent and classy decision.

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On the subject of Ben Roethlisberger, however, their reasoning seems a little suspect. Even the NFL has now talked about how they will look into the civil lawsuit filed by an employee of the Harrah’s casino chain alleging that not only did Roethlisberger sexually assault her in a hotel room, but that the Harrah’s management covered it up.

Could it be that ESPN is protecting its relationship with Roethlisberger, who recently filmed a segment on the upcoming reality television show Shaq Vs., with Shaquille O’Neal, on ESPN’s sister station ABC? Big Ben filmed the segment after the scandal broke but the network canceled a press conference to publicize it.


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