Whitlock’s ouster was announced by ESPN on Friday (June 12). The New York Times reports TheUndefated was set up for Whitlock as a vehicle to address “the intersection of race and sports.” Although a handful of articles have been produced, the website, which was expected to launch this summer, has yet to get off the ground.
Adding to speculation is an article written about TheUndefeated by Deadspin’s Greg Howard, which painted the site as “an organization plagued by problems caused by Whitlock’s managerial style.” A statement released by ESPN did not address a specific reason behind Whitlock’s departure or if pertained to whether he had enough managerial experience to run the site, the Times mentioned.
Replacing Whitlock will be, “Leon Carter — an experienced leader in journalism who officially joined the site in January after leading staffs at the New York Daily News and ESPNNewYork.com —, who “will assume all day-to-day management of the site’s editorial processes and personnel on an interim basis,” Tony Manfred wrote while citing an ESPN press release in a story for Business Insider.
“’We are fully committed to hosting a site that is home to a deeper conversation about race and sports,’ ESPN said in its statement. ‘Ultimately, we collectively determined that having Jason focus his time and energy solely on creating thought-provoking content — his hallmark — across various ESPN platforms will make our overall content even better. Additionally, Leon brings great perspective and experience to the site in his role. This is the best possible approach to present the strongest perspectives on these important topics.’ “