Britt McHenry, an “openly conservative” former ESPN host, is now suggesting she was laid off by the sports network because of her political views.
McHenry was one of about 100 employees cut by ESPN in April due to the network's financial struggles that have stemmed from a declining subscriber base and increasing costs. But now the ex-ESPN reporter is seeming to suggest her conservative ideology influenced the network’s decision to fire her.
“I mean I’ve been openly conservative… look how that ended up,” she wrote in a since-deleted tweet, which was in response to a post criticizing ESPN for claiming it’s not liberal, according to The Big Lead.
McHenry has never been quiet about her conservative views. The 31-year-old reporter attended a GOP event in December and posted to Instagram a photo of herself with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). The image, though, has since been deleted.
Then in January, she praised the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. McHenry also penned a Tumblr post in March in which she applauded U.S. Soccer’s decision to require members of its men’s and women’s national teams to stand for national anthems.
She took to Twitter to thank her readers for their feedback and identified her opinion as “conservative.”
Really appreciate the feedback, guys. Everyone has a voice...even if it's more conservative. Motivation to keep writing!— Britt McHenry (@Britt McHenry)1488928842.0
Several have suggested ESPN has struggled to maintain subscribers because of its alleged liberal bent. “SportsCenter” anchor Linda Cohn even agreed with a radio host who suggested the network’s politics might be hurting its ratings.
“That is definitely a percentage of it,” Cohn said in April. “I don’t know how big a percentage, but if anyone wants to ignore that fact, they’re blind.”
It should be noted, though, that both Cohn and Sage Steele, one of ESPN’s most prominent conservative voices, survived the layoffs. Steele has even been praised by ESPN President John Skipper, who said earlier this year that she has “a bright and long-term future at ESPN and my complete support.”
McHenry also made headlines in 2015, when she was suspended following an expletive-laced tirade against a parking-lot attendant because her car was towed. As a result of the event, ESPN suspended McHenry for one week.
“I’m in the news, sweetheart, I will f***ing sue this place,” McHenry ranted at the time. “Do you feel good about your job? So I could be a college dropout and do the same thing? Why? Cause I have a brain and you don’t. Maybe if I was missing some teeth they would hire me, huh? Oh like yours, ’cause they look so stunning. … ’Cause I’m on television and you’re in a f***ing trailer, honey.”
She later apologized for the rant, admitting she said “some insulting and regrettable things.”
“As frustrated as I was, I should always choose to be respectful and take the high road. I am so sorry for my actions and will learn from this mistake,” McHenry said.