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ESPN Boss John Skipper: There Are Not Enough Black People in Media (Video)

"Shame on the rest of the press media."

Asa Mathat for Vox Media

The head of one of the world’s largest media organizations, ESPN, has a message for the rest of the media world: Shame on you.

That’s because John Skipper, president of ESPN, says there aren’t enough black and female sports writers in the industry, and ESPN has hired the majority of those who are out there.

“There is nothing more important in our culture right now than race relations,” he said Wednesday night at Re/code’s annual Code/Media conference at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, Calif. “There is not enough black media in this country. There is not enough black-owned media in this country. There are not enough sites run by people of color.”

Skipper says ESPN has a plan to combat this issue: A new website. The company plans to launch The Undefeated later this year, a site focused on the “intersection of race, culture and sports,” Skipper said.

“We are going to have a site run by people of color, by black Americans who are going to curate the site,” he explained. “They’re going to create the content for that site.”

Skipper also claims that ESPN employs 74 of the nation’s 85 national sports writers who are either women or people of color.

Why does this particular issue matter so much to ESPN? Because women and people of color watch sports, too, of course.

“It’s social, it’s cultural, it’s ideological and it’s business,” Skipper said, listing off why ESPN is making a concerted effort around gender and diversity. “African-Americans are a very important part of our constituency. They watch a lot of sports. And I believe that we have to be their home, and they have to believe that we represent their interests.”

Skipper’s message to his competitors: “Shame on the rest of the press media.”

Watch John Skipper’s full interview from Code/Media 2016

This article originally appeared on

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