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Opinion: ESPN has been looking the other way on Dan Dakich’s bullying for years

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Opinion: ESPN has been looking the other way on Dan Dakich’s bullying for years

, USA TODAY
Revealed 4: 52 p.m. ET March 2, 2021

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In the event you may effect the Dan Dakich who calls college basketball video games on ESPN a pair times per week correct into a box and lock the relaxation of his personality away, you’d likely attain to the conclusion that he’s a extremely magnificent analyst and a reasonable human being and never in truth contemplate him once more. 

Perchance that’s why, till closing week, ESPN executives had came upon it convenient adequate to masks their eyes, stick their fingers in their ears and conclude their stage easiest to ignore how he behaves on Twitter and his Indianapolis-primarily based totally totally radio show, both of which for years personal made a mockery of the network that gave him a national platform. 

Despite years of bullying and borderline feedback on other platforms that will deserve to personal drawn stumble on from his bosses at ESPN, Dakich’s nonsense has been largely consequence-free. What’s ironic about ESPN at closing looking into his conduct after yet another embarrassing incident closing week is that it was once horny noteworthy par for the path. 

An ESPN spokesperson acknowledged Sunday that the network was once “taking this topic very severely” after a radio segment closing week in which Dakich went after two college professors who had engaged him on Twitter, one of which accused him of misogynistic and sexualized feedback and another who acknowledged Dakich had doxxed him by spelling out his name and repeating his location of enterprise hours on air. ESPN acknowledged Tuesday there was once no update on the investigation.

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Since then, Dakich has shut down his Twitter legend, which is where many of his problems personal started. He claimed on his show Monday that it was once the results of a non secular epiphany, nonetheless the professional epiphany will deserve to personal attain long ago. 

It will deserve to personal attain when he started tweeting obsessively — greater than 20 times over the years — about how college athletes afford tattoos if they’re being exploited. That isn’t even coded language — it’s blatantly racist.

It will deserve to personal attain when he tweeted in 2013 that Dwyane Wade “will be seeing a neurologist and a gynecologist” if he had taken an elbow in an NBA playoff game. 

It will deserve to personal attain when he acknowledged a itsy-bitsy Indiana city was once “stuffed with meth and AIDS and needles” and called a high college itsy-bitsy one a “methhead” on legend of he was once angry that the high college basketball coach received fired. 

It will deserve to personal attain in 2017 when he received in extra than one Twitter interactions with Michigan Yelp fans, calling them whiners and suggesting they weren’t dapper adequate to get into Michigan — an incident he backed down from and apologized for. 

It will deserve to personal attain when he acknowledged definitively that Purdue coach Jeff Brohm was once going to Louisville, that P.J. Fleck was once going to Cincinnati and that Indiana was once hiring Steve Alford — all counterfeit tales that can personal failed ESPN’s sourcing standards and gotten their journalists in exertion. 

It will deserve to personal attain closing summer season when he was a picayune criticism of him on Twitter correct into a fundamental argument, only to be informed by a father that the legend belonged to his 10-12 months mature son. As a replacement of backing away, Dakich was it correct into a 20-minute radio segment, repeated the name of the family on air and blasted the father’s parenting: “The itsy-bitsy one received what he deserved. … Characterize your 10-12 months mature itsy-bitsy one to stop being just a itsy-bitsy exertion in the ass.”

There are a entire lot of other examples, with athletes who’re renowned and random these that received under his pores and skin, all at once discovering themselves being talked about on-air, their electronic mail boxes filled with hate.

Will any of that be section of ESPN’s investigation? 

Because at this level, here’s as noteworthy an ESPN field as it’s a Dakich field. Being a gigantic jerk to other individuals on Twitter who tiptoes magnificent as a lot as the line is never any crime; in talk radio, it has perchance contributed vastly to his rankings and his monetary success.

However why has ESPN never cared adequate before now to manage with it? Is there anyone else at the entire company with a public presence so poisonous who has been allowed to continue representing them? Rather a lot of high-profile capability over the years has been disciplined for going over the line on Twitter. In some cases, care for when Jemele Hill called President Trump a “white supremacist” or when Dan Le Batard received too political for the network’s liking, it ended in a separation. 

Perchance these of us who personal been conscious of it for years personal become desensitized to Dakich’s propensity to bully and demean. Nothing stands out as a scandal when the entirety’s a scandal. However this most up-to-date incident with the professors has struck a chord with other individuals. And also you understand it’s vital on legend of on his radio presentations Monday and Tuesday, Dakich wouldn’t in truth cope with the increasing controversy head on. As a replacement, he insisted that he wasn’t a bully — “I’ve always stood as a lot as bullies,” he acknowledged — explaining that he values toughness on legend of it kept him alive. 

Looking to thread that needle, pointless to claim, is remark nonsense. Public figures going in Twitter fights and then elevating these battles into radio content is either a media strategy or the byproduct a gigantic persecution complicated.

No topic which one it is, ESPN has enabled it for a long time. We’ll see how noteworthy longer they are looking to continue. 

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Opinion: ESPN has been looking the other way on Dan Dakich’s bullying for years