The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

‘Openly conservative’ Britt McHenry suggests politics played role in her ESPN departure

Britt McHenry, right, shown here when she was still working at ESPN. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)
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Britt McHenry was one of the 100 or so front-facing personalities laid off by ESPN earlier this year as the network looks for ways to cut costs in the wake of a declining subscriber base and mounting expenses. At the time, McHenry said she was “grateful” for her three years at ESPN and that she’d “cherish” the friendships she built in Bristol.

On Monday, however, she tweeted out a response to an article written by Outkick the Coverage’s Clay Travis that seemed to suggest her conservative beliefs had at least something to do with her termination. The tweet was eventually deleted but not before The Big Lead saved a screengrab of it.

McHenry has never been shy about her conservative leanings. As the New York Post points out, she attended a GOP event in December and posted a photo of herself with Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan on her Instagram before deleting it. In January, she applauded the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

McHenry also penned a piece for her Tumblr in March saying that she agreed with U.S. Soccer’s decision to require the members of the men’s and women’s national teams to stand for national anthems, acknowledging later on Twitter that her stance was conservative in nature.

Many have cited ESPN’s alleged liberal bent as a reason for the network’s subscriber losses, including some like Linda Cohn who are still employed by the network. But on the flip side, personalities such as Cohn and Sage Steele — who was described by Travis as “a prominent conservative voice” — both survived the network’s layoffs, with Steele receiving a public vote of support from ESPN President John Skipper himself.