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ESPN ‘apologizes’ for tasteless post on Aaron Douglas’ death


There are many, many ways the media could have handled the story on the death of Alabama offensive lineman Aaron Douglas.

From doing a straight Associated Press-style report to offering condolences along with the facts to sharing the thoughts of Douglas’ teammates on his untimely passing, there were myriad ways to relay the news in a tasteful, respectful manner.

And then there’s the soulless, asinine tack taken by the college football section of‘s Insider RumorCentral:

(Stay classy, World Wide Leader)

The offensive post was subsequently removed and someone connected to the network issued an “apology” via Twitter.

“Apologies for the Rumor Central post related to Aaron Douglas’ tragic death. It did not meet ESPN editorial standards and was removed asap,” the tweet from Rob King read.

Hard to say what’s sadder, the half-assed apology or the fact that someone thought it was a good idea to post that tripe in the first place.

(Tip O’ the Cap for screen snap: Nastinchka)

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16 Responses to “ESPN ‘apologizes’ for tasteless post on Aaron Douglas’ death”
  1. jaggedmark says: May 12, 2011 5:21 PM

    When I saw that espn post, I was in disbelief. Disgraceful really.

  2. Slim Charles says: May 12, 2011 5:27 PM

    Jesus. My moral fiber is severely lacking, but that was terrible.

  3. Deb says: May 12, 2011 7:01 PM

    Some bloggers (and blog commenters) right out of college seem to think insensitive (read: inhuman) snark makes them cool. And it’s especially easy to pull off when they post anonymously, as’s writer did. JT described the style best with the term soulless. If my guess about the age of that blogger is correct, ESPN would be wise not to let its newbies post without adult editorial supervision.

  4. crimsonwhite says: May 12, 2011 7:01 PM

    How about firing somebody and let your actions reflect what you say

  5. edgy says: May 12, 2011 7:57 PM

    It’s one thing to speculate when a guy leaves but this is ridiculous. Imagine someone being this stupid after the Marshall or OSU crashes.

  6. whatswiththehate says: May 12, 2011 8:35 PM

    Everyone knows those at ESPN are tactless personified. They are the World Leader in Sports, so who can touch them?

    And they are not sorry for what they did. They are sorry that “It did not meet ESPN editorial standards.” Like WTF does that mean? It was not low-life enough?

    Yes, these are the same folks who sit up on their high thrones and question other people’s ability to lead on a daily basis. Yet their only concern is the next juicy story. Just like they got caught on the air rejoicing when a coach they didn’t care for got fired.

    ESPN, the Worldwide Leader in being as trifling as hell.

  7. burntorangehorn says: May 12, 2011 9:33 PM

    ESPN proved with the Craig/Adam James and Mike Leach debacle that they have no interest in holding anyone accountable for being a loose cannon who causes pain.

  8. jimr10 says: May 13, 2011 8:01 AM

    This is the first I knew of ESPN standards.

  9. psousa1 says: May 13, 2011 11:23 AM

    If it wasn’t for Baseball Tonight I would have no use for ESPN

  10. burntorangehorn says: May 13, 2011 11:44 AM

    psousa1 says:
    May 13, 2011 11:23 AM
    If it wasn’t for Baseball Tonight I would have no use for ESPN
    If it weren’t for actual game broadcasts, I’d also have no use for ESPN or any of its spinoff channels.

  11. kinggw says: May 13, 2011 6:36 PM

    Im sorry, that ESPN post is not as egregious as some posters have made it out to be. I guess I can understand why it would be classified as poor taste, but all the of the outrage is unwarranted.

  12. corvusrex96 says: May 14, 2011 11:08 AM

    Rather than the weak half apology from an editor is it too much to ask that the dope who wrote the intial article to issue a REAL apology

  13. Deb says: May 14, 2011 12:17 PM

    @kinggw …

    You guess you can understand why it would be considered poor taste?

    Serious question: Have you ever experienced the death of someone you love–someone young who died unexpectedly? Since, like the writer, you can’t feel empathy for Douglas’s family, could you feel any for your own family, friends, or teammates reading such a cold comment in the immediate aftermath of losing a loved one?

    The writer says Douglas’s death “qualifies as devastating news on the heels of the tornadoes.” So if not for the tornadoes, it would have been just another day with the team? But forget about the death … let’s talk about what this will mean for next season. That Nick Saban looks prescient, doesn’t he?

    Was it a hate rant? No. Was it, as JT said, soulless? Yes.

    We can’t make people feel or show empathy and compassion. But we can comment when they don’t.

  14. fist72 says: May 14, 2011 7:55 PM

    Tasteless? Yes. Deserving of this level of ridicule? Ah, big business will be big business. What did you expect flowers at ever door step for those who are offended? Come on… I hope for his families sake that it was not drugs or excessive alcohol that brought this kid down… Natural causes are easier to deal with becuase most times there is nothing you can do about it. RIP bro.

  15. jimreherman says: May 14, 2011 10:12 PM

    Espn has been steadily slipping for years. I used to be a religious viewer, now seldom even turn it on. Have they become like the despised owners in the NFL labor strife ?? Slowly I’m going back more and more to the lowly 10 minutes of sports on local channels due to the asinine ways of ESPN commentators. I think the really do consider themselves as some sort of entitled star !!!!

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