Controversial sports columnist Jason Whitlock will no longer be leading what the writer called Black Grantland, ESPN announced Friday. Whitlock has been removed from his post as editor-in-chief of The Undefeated, a sports website with an emphasis on race that was announced when Whitlock returned to the network in 2013.
In a statement released today the network said it would be making "structural adjustments" to the site. The Undefeated still has not been officially launched. It was slated to be ESPN’s latest personality-driven website, in the tradition of Bill Simmons’ Grantland.com. Simmons, it was announced earlier this year, will part ways with ESPN when his contract ends.
Whitlock will reportedly remain with ESPN as a columnist and Leon Carter, who was hired to be a part of The Undefeated’s staff, will take over as the interim head of the site.
The full statement from ESPN is below.
As we continue to move forward in the process of creating The Undefeated -- a new ESPN site focusing on race and sports -- we have collectively decided to make some structural adjustments that will maximize the skill sets and strengths of our team, leading to the best possible output for the site and for all of ESPN. To that end, Jason Whitlock will now be entirely focused on what he does best: creating distinctive and compelling content, which will live across various ESPN platforms. Jason’s thought-provoking perspective has always been a hallmark of his work and this will allow him to completely devote his time and energy to that. As a result, he will make significant contributions to multiple ESPN entities and programs. Since returning to ESPN, Jason has been instrumental in assembling the foundation of a strong editorial team, formulating the vision for the project and collaborating with our digital product team to develop the blueprint for the site.
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 -- will assume all day-to-day management of the site’s editorial processes and personnel on an interim basis.