Jason Whitlock’s eventful but not entirely impactful return to ESPN was chronicled in detail by Deadspin’s Greg Howard, which the former is no doubt, still smarting over. On Wednesday, Whitlock submitted to an interview with The Indianapolis Star’s Dana Hunsinger Benbow which mostly concerned Big Sexy’s most recent flame out in Bristol and subsequent resurfacing at Fox Sports 1. “I can be more honest and transparent at Fox,” insists Whitlock, who if nothing else, can match Dino Costa stride for stride when it comes to believing his own bullshit.
Question: How did the ESPN website “The Undefeated” go from being your brainchild to you being pulled from the project?
Answer: Ha. Tough question to answer in a small space. A noncorporate, non-PC person trying to muster internal corporate support to do an ambitious, revolutionary project inside an establishment brand would make a great documentary. I just finished watching Netflix’s outstanding doc “Making a Murderer.” Mine would be called “Making a Scapegoat.” LOL. Seriously, I was the wrong fit at ESPN. Definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Q: How did your departure from ESPN go down? The company statement said it was your decision. True?
A: True. I wanted to leave ESPN when control of “The Undefeated” was taken from me. “The Undefeated” was the reason for me to work at ESPN. “The Undefeated” justified the sacrifice of my voice. I considered the possibility of staying at ESPN as a columnist and fill-in host at “Pardon the Interruption.” But at the end of the day, in order for me to reach my full potential, I need an environment that allows me to be me. … The executives at Fox Sports get and embrace me. Fox Sports allows me to be real.
Q: Do you believe race in any way played a part in how things turned out for you at ESPN?
A: Uh boy. Really difficult question in this space. My race played a role in the sense that certain people want the American establishment challenged in an easy-to-dismiss, highly divisive fashion. Certain people and groups seem invested in convincing black people that black people are liberal. We’ve traditionally been conservative, church-going people. Certain people are working to keep black people and white people divided. A black voice that tries to point out the common ground between black people and white people, particularly poor and working-class black and white people, is viewed as dangerous. Martin Luther King was most dangerous when he started working to bring poor people of all colors together. I think my vision for “The Undefeated” conflicted with the goals of people invested in keeping poor people and religious people divided.