The New York Times is reporting that ESPN has officially hired Keith Olbermann to host a nightly sports show on ESPN2. According to the Times, Olbermann’s contract specifically forbids him from discussing politics on the new show.
On his new show, Olbermann will be free to discuss matters other than sports, including pop culture and current events, but not politics, the two-year pact specifies.
Whether the notoriously volatile and mercurial host will possess the discipline to refrain from any political commentary will remain to be seen, but it seems impossible for this provision to remain in force. In the past months, the sports world has directly intersected with the political world, and commentators have found themselves discussing issues ranging from 2nd amendment rights to same-sex marriage while reporting on the day’s sports stories.
The idea that Olbermann will not discuss anything political on days such as this seems impossible, but it will be very entertaining to watch him try. Especially considering Fox has announced the launch of a rival sports network, Fox Sports 1, which will go up against ESPN starting in August.