Adrian Wojnarowski at the 2019 draft - Nathaniel S. Butler / NBAE / Getty Images / Getty Images via AFP
He is the most famous NBA reporter in the world. Adrian Wojnarowski, known as "the Woj", reputed to get news from the North American League before everyone else, was reportedly suspended without pay by his employer ESPN for insulting a senator.
Adrian Wojnarowski was suspended by ESPN without payment of wages, according to several American media including the Washington Post, which specifies that this suspension is supposed to last from one to two weeks.
pic.twitter.com/wsBNk9Jv2y- Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 10, 2020
The NBA is scheduled to resume on July 30 at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. While the NBA has allowed players to write political messages in support of the Black Lives Matter movement on their shirts, Republican Senator Josh Hawley requests that messages in support of the United States, such as "God Bless America" bless America ”) or“ Support our troop s ”, or in support of Chinese Communist Party victims, such as“ Free Hong Kong ”, are also allowed.
After answering by email "F ... you", a response made public by the senator, Adrian Wojnarowski publicly apologized for his "terrible mistake".
ESPN, for its part, deemed "inexcusable for anyone working for ESPN to respond as Adrian did to Senator Hawley". "We are dealing with this issue directly with Adrian and the content of these discussions will remain internal," said the media.
After the announcement, not officially confirmed, of its suspension, many NBA figures, including players Lou Williams (Clippers), Patrick Beverley (Clippers), Spencer Dinwiddie (Nets) or Jamal Murray (Nuggets), took action and cause for the journalist by posting tweets with the hashtag #FreeWoj ("Free Woj").
Josh Hawley also didn't seem to approve of Wojnarowski's suspension on Sunday. "Don't hang a reporter, ask tough questions to the NBA about their pro-China and anti-America bias," he tweeted to ESPN. In his letter, Josh Hawley recalled the diplomatic incident that occurred last October with Beijing, born of a tweet from the leader of the Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey, in support of anti-government demonstrations in Hong Kong.
This incident had resulted in the boycott of the NBA by Chinese state television, generating a shortfall estimated in February by NBA commissioner Adam Silver at "hundreds of millions of dollars".