ESPN’S Mike Greenberg Insists New Morning Show Will Not Be All About Social Justice

GTY Frederick M Brown
Getty Images/Frederick M. Brown

With the debut of a new ESPN morning show only days away, host Mike Greenburg is stressing that contrary to early reports, Get Up! will not be all about social justice “news.”

The show, set to debut next week at 7 AM, will feature hosts Mike Greenberg, Michelle Beadle, and Jalen Rose; but some of the comments by the hosts spurred many to assume that Get Up! will be all about being “woke” instead of being about sports.

Some of the things said by the new hosts did seem to hint that politics will be an important part of the show.

As Breitbart Sports reported, Executive producer, Bill Wolff said that the show would look to cover political issues, such as the players kneeling during the national anthem. Jalen Rose added that it would be “dishonest and inauthentic” for the new show not to cover politics. “When our president tweets about sports, now he’s fair game,” Rose said. Even Greenburg himself said that he and his co-hosts must be “flexible” when covering sports and politics.

But now, Greenburg is trying to dissuade possible viewers from imagining that Get Up! will be all about politics and social justice. Indeed, the former Mike & Mike host says that the show will be about sports first and foremost.

“I believe that when a person turns on ESPN, that person has a right to expect that we’re going to be talking about sports,” Greenberg said in a long interview with Sporting News, “so what people will see when we debut on Monday, and every single day thereafter, is that we are a sports show first, last and always.”

Greenburg went on to describe what Get Up! will be:

It is exclusively sports. It’s amazing to me, Mike, how many interviews I’ve done, and I am asked so frequently: “So, is this a sports show?” My answer to that is if I walked into McDonald’s and they said to me, “We don’t have hamburgers today,” I would be very disappointed because I walked into McDonald’s to get a hamburger. No one goes to McDonald’s if they feel like pizza or sushi. I believe that when a person turns on ESPN, that person has a right to expect that we’re going to be talking about sports, so what people will see when we debut on Monday, and every single day thereafter, is that we are a sports show first, last and always.

We have our own sort of personal spin on highlights and news and analysis and debate. Hopefully, it is all done with some humor because that’s one of the things in my presentation I’ve always felt best about. It’s definitely a strong suit of Michelle’s and of Jalen’s. I think that’s an appropriate thing. Sports frequently lends itself to light-hearted humorous conversation, but that’s what we’re talking about. We’re talking about sports. I get the sense a lot of people don’t seem to think that’s what it’s going to be, but I can assure you that when anyone starts watching the show on Monday, that’s what they’re going to see. They’re going to see a sports talk show.

In fact, Greenburg blamed the media for the impression that the new show will be about “woke” issues instead of sports:

I don’t want to call anyone out, OK? I don’t know how that happened. I can tell you I was on that call, I was in that interview. What Jalen said was, ‘If the president tweets something about sports while we’re on the air, then we will talk about it.’ Somehow that became a headline that we’re going to be a ‘woke’ talk show. I don’t even know what that means, much less how it relates to what we were talking about. That, in my opinion, was a very misleading headline relative to the intention of the show.

Greenburg concluded noting that the actual interview, if read correctly, does reveal exactly what he and his co-hosts intend to do with Get Up!.

“If you read the article, we talk at great length about how our plan is to do a sports show,” Greenburg said. “That is 100 percent what we are going to do.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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