Earlier today Caleb Moore passed away following complications related to injuries suffered during a freestyle snowmobile competition at this year’s X Games competition. But despite the seriousness of the situation and ESPN’s close ties to the event, SportsCenter was slow to report the news of Moore’s death.
It was first reported yesterday by the Denver Post that Moore was not expected to survive his injuries. And yet, during today’s 11:00 AM and 12:00 PM live editions of SportsCenter, there was not a single mention of Moore.
At approximately 12:47 PM, several outlets reported that Moore passed away. It was 19 minutes before Moore’s death was first mentioned by ESPN, in their ticker at the bottom of the page. And their first thought was to let us know just how rare it is for somebody to die at the competition they created…
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And in the 32 minutes between first mentioning Moore’s death in the ticker and discussing it on air, SportsCenter covered the following topics:
- Approximately five minutes on the Ravens moving their practice indoors because of the weather
- Approximately three minutes on Dwight Howard re-injuring his shoulder (with the introduction of “Developing Story”)
- Six minutes on the phone with NBA insider Chris Broussard discussing among other things the Reggie Evans “lesson on smack talking LeBron James and the Miami Heat”
- An interview with Colin Kaepernick discussing obstacles he has overcome
- Various highlights
Of course, snowmobiling is a fringe sport and if the X Games were not being broadcast on ESPN, Moore’s death may have never been mentioned at all. But it still feels like ESPN is brushing this death under the rug because the X Games is their baby and a moneymaker worth protecting.
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