Opinion

Hookstead’s Hot Take: Did I End Britt McHenry’s ESPN Career?

Britt McHenry (Credit: Screenshot/Youtube Right USA Now)

David Hookstead Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief
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The sun rose Monday morning and Britt McHenry is officially no longer an employee at ESPN.

McHenry, who famously made fun of a helpless woman she believed to be in a lower social class, was one of the final people fired from ESPN in their doomsday, which saw scores of people lose their jobs. Initially it looked like she would survive the purge. I bravely criticized ESPN’s decision to keep her on the staff while at the same time firing several very talented ESPN on-air personalities and writers.

I didn’t think much after the piece was published. I just assumed we were living in an unfair and cruel world. One in which the likes of Ed Werder loses his job, but McHenry does not. I boarded a plane with a few friends for a weekend getaway to Puerto Rico, but as I drank a few cold beers on the plane, word started to circulate that McHenry had been fired from ESPN. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

Everybody rushed to their computers and phones for confirmation. Then McHenry released a statement confirming the reports.

Cheers erupted throughout the plane in our section, and more beers were promptly ordered to celebrate. Alcohol flowed freely as our vacation got an early kickstart while flying high in the sky.

However, I must admit that as I drank my cold beverage I began to contemplate the role I had played in McHenry’s Shakespearean downfall.

Was I, a simple man who enjoys beer and sports, responsible for the biggest news coming out of ESPN? Had I been able to right the wrongs of the universe from my laptop? Thoughts flooded my head as we cruised at 35,000 feet. Such immense power I felt like I now possessed, despite the fact I never asked for this heavy burden. It weighed on me like a million pounds.

Let me be clear, I don’t know if I was the main reason for McHenry getting fired. Perhaps I played no role at all. I have absolutely no clue, but I do know that nobody was calling for her to be terminated. Only I was brave enough to fight back against the social justice warriors and point out the hypocrisy of ESPN. Less than a day later and she was on the unemployment line.

Make no mistake ladies and gentleman, we live in dark times. We live in a time where many feel that justice, righteousness and fairness no longer exists. I don’t know if I’m a hero for how these events all played out. In my mind, the real heroes wear camo and do their work in foreign lands to save lives. Perhaps I’m not the hero the sports world asked for, but perhaps I was the hero it needed.

I now go to sleep at night wondering what other wrongs I can right in this world, which at times can be such a cruel and wicked place. I never asked for this responsibility, but I will carry this burden for America — if  that’s what is necessary.

Am I a hero? I have no idea. I’ll grab a cold beer and think about it. In the meantime I’ll simply leave with a thought from the always wise Michael Scott.

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