Several months ago Jason Whitlock penned a very polarizing column about sports personality Katie Nolan.
In an article titled, “KATIE NOLAN REPRESENTS THE ELIMINATION OF AMERICA’S MERITOCRACY AND EXPOSES THE FRAUDULENCE OF HER SUPPORTERS,” he essentially made the case that it’s shocking how much she fails upwards despite any success whatsoever in sports media.
In light of this week’s ruckus about white and black female broadcasters and the varying treatments they get, his piece seems extra poignant in hindsight.
Naturally, given the overwhelming love Nolan receives from sports Twitter, the piece caused something of a stir at the time.
On Monday, sports media insider Bobby Burack reported that Always Late, Nolan’s ESPN+ show that nobody actually watched, has officially been axed by the network.
As noted by Burack, “in 2019, ESPN moved Always Late off ESPN+ to ESPN2, after failing to draw significant users to its streaming platform. Nolan’s show didn’t work on linear TV either.”
Why is this a big deal? Because ESPN signed her, while simultaneously letting go of much more established and respected talents, to a salary of more than a million dollars a year when it was evident to anyone and everyone she’d fail.
In his now infamous column, Whitlock ascribed Nolan’s genuinely puzzling notoriety in sports media to “white privilege,” something that often gets mentioned in the news, but oddly enough rarely in relation to people like Nolan.
— Game 7 (@game7__) June 14, 2021
“You punch her name into Google and you could spend the next month reading everything you need to know about a TV personality without a single legitimate accomplishment,” Whitlock continued.
Now that Nolan has failed, again, Whitlock’s words ring truer than ever.
At the end of the day, Whitlock is like every other online provocateur. He overstates for dramatic effect, gives hot takes and so on and so forth – but that doesn’t mean he gets everything wrong the way social media would have you believe. His assessment of Nolan was right on the money, and he deserves credit for being brave enough to say it first.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.