ESPN has suspended NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski for replying “f—k you” in an email to Missouri senator Josh Hawley, according to Outkick the Coverage.
His suspension is without pay and he will not be reporting to the NBA bubble in Orlando this week, per The New York Post. It is not known how long his suspension will last.
Wojnarowski’s reply came in a mass email sent from the Republican senator’s office, which questioned the league’s business with China and lack of support for U.S. law enforcement and military after it approved 29 social justice messages to allow players to wear on the back of their jerseys.
Hawley screenshotted the response and posted it to Twitter.
Wojnarowski apologized for the way he handled himself and said that he was “disrespectful and made a regrettable mistake.”
Hawley responded by claiming ESPN forced Wojnarowski to apologize and that the reporter was just “saying what he thinks.”
ESPN released a statement of its own, which said, “This is completely unacceptable behavior and we do not condone it. It is inexcusable for anyone working for ESPN to respond in the way Adrian did to Senator Hawley. We are addressing it directly with Adrian and specifics of those conversations will remain internal.”
Hawley, meanwhile, has continued to call out the NBA for its business with China and criticized the league that it would not allow any of its players criticize China’s actions in Hong Kong.
The NBA’s relationship with China came under fire back in October when Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted, “FIGHT FOR FREEDOM STAND WITH HONG KONG” before it was removed and backtracked by the GM.
Wojnarowski was one of the many who liked Morey’s tweet, which actually cost the reporter to lose his show in China and receive death threats, according to Outkick the Coverage.
ESPN has not made any public comment on Wojnarowski’s reported suspension.