The Real Reason ESPN's Ex-President John Skipper Had To Step Down

John Skipper ESPN

ESPN and the rest of the television world was rocked by some crazy news months ago when the network president of the worldwide leader in sports John Skipper announced his resignation. Skipper didn't get into specifics at the time of his leaving, but mentioned substance addiction to be at the root of why he was leaving the company. Now, Skipper has shared more specifics regarding what happened and has said he was forced to step down after a cocaine dealer tried to extort him:

They threatened me, and I understood immediately that threat put me and my family at risk, and this exposure would put my professional life at risk as well. I foreclosed that possibility by disclosing the details to my family, and then when I discussed it with [Disney CEO] Bob [Iger], he and I agreed that I had placed the company in an untenable position and as a result, I should resign.

John Skipper said he had never used cocaine at ESPN, and that his addiction never affected his work with the network. Skipper mentioned the extortion came after the former ESPN president went outside his normal channels of obtaining the illegal drug, which led to his decision to either succumb to the demands of his extorter or go to Disney CEO Bob Iger with what was going on. Skipper told the New York Post that while he wished there had been a situation in which he had been allowed to stay with the company, he never requested that he be allowed to remain with the company in his talks with Iger.

48 hours would pass between John Skipper's discussion with Bob Iger and his official resignation from ESPN. Skipper described the weekend that happened between the two events as "agonizing," and said he couldn't eat or sleep through most of it. Finally, the big day came, and while Skipper's resignation letter was out, a lot of people were clamoring for details behind what had happened. The need for details spurred many rumors, some seemingly much worse than the story Skipper recently shared with the world.

The revelation and details behind John Skipper's resignation put to rest a lot of rumors surrounding his exit from ESPN, some of which assumed sexual harassment had been a factor. Skipper's detailed account of the circumstances behind his departure could be seen as someone wishing to make a comeback or perhaps get a fresh start at another network, although Skipper said he doubts his next job will be at a major corporation. Not because he thinks no company will have him, but due to the fact that he's no longer interested in pursuing a job like that anymore. Instead, Skipper said he wished to enter a job where he can help a "few smart people" whom he respects with work that matters.

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Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick contains multitudes and balances his time reporting on big happenings in the world of Star Trek, the WWE, reality television, and other sci-fi shows.