ESPN has sent Jalen Rose to the unemployment line, along with NBA game analyst Jeff Van Gundy as the cable sports network begins another round to trim millions from its operating budget.
Rose, 50, was the first high-profile layoff of this latest round of layoffs on Friday, according to the New York Post.
Rose already had his role slashed after his daily program with David Jacoby was canceled at the end of 2022, the paper added.
The end of Rose’s contract with ESPN will reportedly save the network at least $3 million a year in salary, the amount he was reportedly paid in 2018.
Rose has also been a lightning rod for controversy for the network.
Last year, for instance, he accused people who use the name “Mount Rushmore” of being racists because he says the name should be “offensive” to all Americans.
“I want to continue to challenge myself and to challenge you to do something,” Rose said in a Twitter video in August of last year. “Can we retire using Mt. Rushmore?”
“That should be offensive to all of us, especially Native Americans,” Rose exclaimed.
Here's why using Mount Rushmore to define greatness should be retired immediately. pic.twitter.com/mtYYTtKFSa
— Jalen Rose (@JalenRose) August 3, 2022
His attack on Mt. Rushmore brought South Dakota’s Republican Gov. Kristi Noem to say that the name wouldn’t be canceled on her watch.
“The four men on Mount Rushmore were amazing, flawed American leaders who helped make America what it is today — the greatest country the world has ever known,” Noem wrote in response to Rose’s comments. “To the woke leftists obsessed with attacking these leaders, I’ve got news for you: not on my watch.”
In 2018 he called the slogans “Make America Great Again” and “America’s pastime” a “dog whistle” for racists.
“When I see the trend, and I understand certain terms have been used as dog whistles in our society: ‘Make America Great Again,’ ‘America’s pastime.’ And a lot of times, that gets overblown, that gets overlooked. And I don’t care that somebody is only quote-unquote 17 years old,” he said.
Rose also used his ESPN platform to engage in anti-cop rhetoric.
Other notable layoffs include other woke ESPN broadcasters such as Max Kellerman. Kellerman, a boxing expert whose most notable ESPN experience was a failed run as Stephen A. Smith’s co-host, once blasted Tiger Woods for daring to say that people “needed to respect the presidency” when athletes were boycotting White House visits.
“I want to say something about what Tiger Woods said now,” Kellerman stated. “It really bothers me. I’m angry at what Tiger Woods said. It is a thoughtless statement dressed up as a thoughtful statement. And it either holds in contempt the intelligence of people who hear it or else it’s just a stupid thing to say. … To say you must have respect for the office — Tiger, be clear. Are you saying that the office, therefore, confers respect on to its present temporary occupant? No. Having respect for the office means principally, in my view, is the office holder should have respect for the office.”
He continued, “We are held to a standard of behavior, we at our jobs, right, people in their daily lives. The president, if anything, is held to a higher standard of behavior. It is not such that we have such great respect for the office that no matter what the behavior of its occupant, we must respect the occupant because of the office. No. Tiger Woods … is being slick. We must respect the office therefore that confers respect to the occupant. Tiger, is that is what you are saying? If that is what you are saying, that is a stupid comment.”
Other Kellerman lowlights include the time he claimed “racist ideas” kept blacks from becoming quarterbacks at a time when the NFL had more black QBs and more highly paid black QBs than at any other time in history.
Of course, not all the layoffs are of personalities known for spouting radical leftist ideology. NFL analysts Keyshawn Johnson and Suzy Kolber were also given their walking papers.
Today I join the many hard-working colleagues who have been laid off.
Heartbreaking-but 27 years at ESPN was a good run.
So grateful for a 38 yr career!
Longevity for a woman in this business is something I’m especially proud of.
Next step- a project that gives back. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/URitozP0LQ
— Suzy Kolber (@SuzyKolber) June 30, 2023
This is a developing story…check back for updates