Amidst the storm of inquiries and revelations surrounding Rachel Dolezal, ESPN quietly announced on Friday afternoon that Jason Whitlock, the controversial sports journalist who rejoined the network in 2013 to launch the race-and-sports-focused website The Undefeated, was removed as the site’s head. He has been replaced on an interim basis by Leon Carter, the site’s editorial director.
Envisioned by Whitlock as becoming “the black Grantland”, the site has so far only posted a handful of articles; Whitlock’s name remains on the site’s masthead. The news of Whitlock’s departer comes on the heels of a series of scathing articles by Deadspin writer Greg Howard (the last of which was published in late April), who interviewed writers and drew from emails and leaked strategy documents in his pieces. Howard argueed ultimately that Whitlock was a poor manager whose racial politics at the predominantly-minority-staffed website mixed with poor interpersonal and managerial skills that threatened to sink the project. Click here to read the profile on Whitlock’s departure in The New York Times, the first piece to announce the news.