ESPN’s Media Relations Vice President Rob Tobias issued a statement this afternoon with regard to the Shaquille O’Neal “fist kiss” ad that I posted this morning.
“We have dozens of executions of the ‘NBA on ESPN RV Tour’ online campaign and none are intended to be offensive to anyone or any community of people. Our intent is to send a positive message about the camaraderie of sports and to do so as creatively as we can. However, we understand your perspective on this ad and would like to apologize to the members of the gay community. In addition, we have decided to remove the ad from the campaign’s online executions. ESPN has a long-standing tradition of supporting diversity in the workplace and beyond. We are fully committed to continuing a dialogue that welcomes and recognizes diverse perspectives. We appreciate your bringing your concerns to our attention.”