Jason Whitlock is joining Outkick the Coverage, he announced in a blog post this morning. The website broke news of his departure from Fox Sports two weeks ago and was an obvious ideological fit to become his landing place, so much so that Vegas wouldn't even offer odds on it.
"It’s hard to be me at a modern mainstream media company. The things that define me are under attack. Social media has prioritized race, gender, sexuality and political ideology well ahead of God and country. The mainstream media’s addiction to social-media traction does not comfortably accommodate someone with my beliefs speaking my truth. Social media defines my values as outdated, no longer healthy or useful. Major corporations, the lifeblood of the mainstream media, operate in fear of algorithms that act as social-media lynch mobs. The punishment for failing to stick to the secular values promoted through social media is career execution by lethal algorithm."
Whitlock, who debuted as host of Speak For Yourself in 2016, was with Fox from 2007-2013 and rejoined in 2015. The two sides did not reach an agreement as his contract expired at the end of June. He previously worked at the Bloomington Herald-Times, Charlotte Observer and Ann Arbor News, but is best known for his time as a sports columnist with the Kansas City Star from 1994-2007 and his six years at ESPN.
"Let me be clear. No one at FOX Sports, ESPN, the Kansas City Star or anywhere else I’ve worked has ever asked me to say or write something I didn’t believe. But the reality is the truths I explore/discuss/debate are problematic for organizations justifiably controlled by fear of social-media whims. It’s like running a race against a head wind while your competitors have a wind at their backs. Fear of social media is a head wind slowing the progress of truth. In order to win the race, I have to work in an environment free of fear. "
Clay Travis has been steadily adding to his staff over the past few months. Three former Big Lead writers -- Ryan Glasspiegel, Bobby Burack and Michael Shamburger -- joined Outkick in late April. This is a different direction than most media companies are going in a pandemic-plagued world and the site has always operated on a relative lean budget, so it's interesting to see the financial commitment to try to build something bigger.