ESPN is said to be the Worldwide Leader in Sports, but with each passing day, you have to wonder if that truly is the case at this point. The NBA world was buzzing yesterday after some quotes surfaced from Ja Morant's interview with Taylor Rooks for Bleacher Report, where he claimed that he'd cook Michael Jordan one-on-one.
Soon after, a fake quote from Ballsack Sports also started doing the rounds where Morant was said to have claimed that Jordan would be just another superstar in today's NBA, and ESPN fell for it as they aired a 2-minute segment on it. NBA Twitter roasted them for this huge blunder, and the news eventually reached Rooks, who was shocked when she heard about it. Taylor called out the network, stating that Morant never said this and that she wanted them to issue a correction.
Ja also responded to Rooks calling out the network, and he too expressed his disbelief that they actually went ahead and aired it on national television.
David Jacoby, who was hosting that segment on This Just In apologized to Rooks and Morant for the mistake while taking some accountability for it.
It was good on Jacoby to come out and state that, but the blame here majorly lies on the feet of the producers who would have asked him to go ahead with it. In this day and age, there is a rush to report hot takes to garner clicks and views, and this is another case of a network doing just that without fact-checking it.
The standards of reporting have been slipping at ESPN, and we wouldn't be surprised if something like this happens again in the future either. It is just a shame that Morant's name got associated with something like this, and many who watched that segment will remain unaware that it was fake. ESPN needs to start doing a better job, as their word still carries a lot of weight in the sports world.