ESPN Draws Mixed Reactions On Response To Kansas City Super Bowl Parade Shooting


Days like today can often be hard to report on, though at the end of the day, it is the responsibility of networks to share the news.

Reports of “shots fired” at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl parade swept across social media faster than it did news networks earlier today. Those that flipped through TV channels looking for coverage shortly after the tragic event unfolded likely only found that CNN and Fox News were initially covering the story.

Most other news networks followed closely behind, letting their audiences know that a shooting had taken place just after Kansas City’s celebration wrapped up. As more information has become available, Kansas City authorities have confirmed that over 20 people were injured during the violent attack, and at least one person has lost their life.

It took ESPN almost an hour after other news networks started to cover the story to finally break away from regularly scheduled programming to cover the story surrounding the Super Bowl parade.

That delay is made apparent by the post below, which shows CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC covering the shooting while ESPN continued to explore the topic of whether or not LeBron will stay with the Lakers for the rest of his career:

Eventually, the “world wide leader in sports” got to the biggest story happening in the sports world and spoke on the horrible acts that played out just outside of Kansas City’s Union Station, where the parade route and ceremony finished shortly before the gunfire erupted.

ESPN obviously took some criticism for their slow reporting on the tragedy. Some argued that serious, heavy news like that should be left to the main news networks, but when something of that magnitude happens at a Super Bowl parade, a lot of people were flocking to the sports network to see what they had to say.

When they did finally get to the news, ESPN handled the heartbreaking topics in a passionate and poignant way. The coverage of the story that happened on NFL Live featured a number of ESPN’s most well known personalities speaking strongly against gun violence.

Marcus Spears, Adam Schefter, and Louis Riddick all gave powerful monologues about the situation, with Spears first talking through his feelings towards the violent, fatal acts that took place during a celebratory event:

“When I first heard it, you know what I thought Unfortunately, is this is who we are. This is who we are. So, now the ever-revolving cycle is going to start. The news outlets will talk about gun control. They’ll have politicians from either side to talk about what needs to be done….

And then we’ll have a ‘prayer’s up,’ I’m sure that’s what’s happening right now. ‘Prayer’s up’ all over the place. It’s unfortunate, and all the time, it’s unfortunate.

This is not an isolated situation in this country.”

Time was then allocated to ESPN insider Adam Schefter, who usually just reports on news that he’s gotten from other sources.

But with this story, Schefter dug deep within himself to try and make sense of what happened in Kansas City, and ended up making these pointed remarks:

“We take this story and extrapolate out to a Super Bowl parade. We could be talking about this particular event at a school. We could be talking about it at a mall. We could be talking about it at a nightclub. We could be talking about it at any facet of America…

These images are happening everywhere all the time, every day, every week in this country. It’s disgusting. It’s sickening. It’s enough. How many times do we have to see this everywhere?

Today, it’s the Chiefs’ turn. It’s at a Super Bowl parade. Tomorrow, it will be somewhere else. Somebody else will lose their life, and we will continue to come on and try to make sense of something that is inexplicable.”

And finally, it was Louis Riddick who seemed to be the most emotionally stirred with his thoughts. The reporter and analyst broke it down all the way to human decency, and asked a lot of tough questions to cap off the segment:

“From a human perspective, we better start looking out for one another and start checking (on) one another…

Quite honestly, man, we need to all take a long look in the mirror. What are we doing here? Like, what is happening here? Have we become that numb?”

Though ESPN might have taken a while to get to the tragic news, in my opinion, the work that NFL Live did at least made up for some of it. Spears, Schefter, and Riddick all approached the shooting from different angles, but they all conveyed the same thing: Helplessness.

That’s the feeling that we all share when senseless acts of violence injure and claim the lives of innocent people. And sadly, what happened at the Super Bowl Parade today, like Spears alluded to, could easily become another somber case of lather, rinse, repeat.

The solution to all of this from a basic human perspective is fairly simple: No innocent person deserves to lose their life during everyday life. We can surely all agree on that, right?

But it’s finding a way to achieve that solution that America continues to grapple with.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock