Writer Drew Magary has joined the exodus from the sports website Deadspin, announcing on Thursday that he had resigned from the embattled site.
Magary was famous among football fans for his “Why Your NFL Team Sucks” series published in the weeks before the kickoff of each NFL season, a long-winded summary of each team that poked fun at the players and their fans. The stories gained viral attention across social media and regularly reached the top of Reddit’s r/NFL page.
Magary announced his resignation in a Twitter post on Thursday morning, telling his readers that he was still planning to stay in the field and actively looking for new work.
“I resigned from Deadspin this morning. That was a fun time you and me had there all those years, wasn’t it? Let’s do it again sometime,” he wrote, adding, “And if you’re shopping around for free agent bloggers and want to host Funbag-like things on YOUR site, I ain’t hard to find.”
Drew Magary is the latest writer to leave the website after a management decree that writers “stick to sports.” As Deadline noted, Deadspin was founded in 2005 originally as a sports-centered site, but has since branched out into covering social, political, and entertainment stories that may or may not have a direct connection to sports.
The site was purchased in April by Great Hill Partners, a private equity firm that also picked up a package of other sites once belonging to the Gawker network. The new decree and the firing of writers who strayed from writing about sports have sent shockwaves through the world of sports journalism, drawing comparisons to the rapid demise of Gawker after Hulk Hogan won a massive defamation suit against the news outlet.
As Deadline noted, the unraveling of Deadspin has drawn a range of reactions.
“A cross-section of journalists, labor activists and others wary of corporate control of media have championed the cause of the Deadspin staffers who have left, filling Twitter with sympathetic commentary,” the report noted. “Many others, including longtime rivals in the sports arena like Barstool Sports and frequent targets like Fox Sports’ Jason Whitlock, have voiced far less sympathetic views of the situation.”
This photo choice is honestly the most devastating own of Deadspin I’ve seen yet pic.twitter.com/GcH8GXPkoO— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) October 31, 2019
Amid the exodus of writers, Deadspin appears to still be striking a balance between sports and social commentary. The top stories on the site at the time of Magary’s resignation were an op-ed noting the social protests from Seattle Sounders fans, a look at the importance of soccer in Palestinian refugee camps, and a “Funbag” email answering session from Magary which was titled “Can I F*ck To My Friend’s Band?”