NFL Network Warns Staffers to Steer Clear of Politics on Social Media

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AP Photo/Darron Cummings

As more and more sports fans call for members of the sports media to “stick to sports,” news has leaked that the NFL Network is now warning employees to avoid talking about politics on their social media accounts.

While ESPN continues to spiral into pure left-wing politics, the NFL Network seems ready to avoid the cable sports network’s troubles, Sports Business Daily reported.

NFL executives are becoming alarmed by the volatility of mixing politics with sports and see it as a sort of “no-win scenario.”

So, network execs are saying “avoid politics.”

“Those debates are healthy in the middle of newsrooms and discussions face-to-face,” NFL Network’s executive producer of studio and remote content, Mike Muriano, said. “But playfully or not, what happens in face-to-face conversations can be construed in ways that you don’t want on a public forum like Twitter — especially when it comes to politics.”

Execs essentially want employees to “stick to sports.”

One message the NFL gave its talent was to be cognizant that people follow them for their football knowledge. “When in doubt, keep it to the game,” NFL’s vice president of social media and emerging programming, Tom Brady said. “There’s always a time to showcase your personality and be able to engage with fans and go outside of your core. But at the end of the day, as a member of the NFL Media Group, try to stick to football because that’s what people want to hear from you about.”

“Talent needs to be careful with that level of engagement,” Muriano said. “Be smart and sensitive to if you’re getting trolled or not. Then just stop.

“Our talent, as the known quantity in this exchange, does not benefit by dressing down a fan — even if that fan is way off base. At some point, they have to know when to say that this has taken a turn and I’m not taking part anymore.”

“There is a danger to unfiltered messages that can be delivered to a mass audience immediately. The league told its on-air talent to use common sense when posting on social media,” the NFL Network told employees.

“Don’t fail the social media IQ test,” Muriano concluded. “Is what you’re about to put out there that important? Give it a second thought.”

With the troubles of ESPN as a guide, it is no wonder that NFL Network execs want their employees to avoid the pitfalls of angering millions of customers with constant left-wing political pronouncements.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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