ESPN’s Mark Jones receives pushback on anti-police tweets

ESPN play-by-play announcer Mark Jones was called upon Thursday to reconcile his previous public support for police with his current distrust of officers.

Jones sent multiple anti-police tweets Wednesday after Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced a grand jury declined to indict three Louisville Metro officers in the shooting death last March of Breonna Taylor inside her apartment. One officer was charged with firing his weapon into an unoccupied adjacent apartment. Two Louisville officers were later shot during protest demonstrations.

Jones went so far as to say that he didn’t want his customary police detail when he calls the Army-Cincinnati football game Saturday. His reasoning? He fears for his safety around cops.

“I’m not signing my own death certificate,” Jones, who is Black, wrote.

It should be noted that spectators will not be allowed inside Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium for the game. Jones therefore won’t need an escort to get him through pregame or postgame congestion.

Jones also wrote that his uncle made history as an officer in Toronto and racism within that force was widespread. 

Jones broadcast NBA games for ESPN in the Orlando bubble and heard NBA players regularly speak about Taylor. He also saw players walk out of games to protest police brutality and racial injustice.

MORE: ESPN’s Jalen Rose shouts Breonna Taylor message before network goes to break

After Jones’ tweets went viral Thursday, people brought up posts he sent years ago thanking and supporting police who assisted him at stadiums. It was a “This you?” moment.

Jones parried by saying his colleagues, friends and even a stranger have been integral to his safety.

Jones also received backlash for two tweets he liked earlier in the week regarding 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa’s ACL tear. One of the tweets Jones liked appeared to mock Bosa’s support of President Donald Trump; the other appeared to mock Bosa’s standing for the national anthem.

ESPN has not commented on Jones’ social media activity.

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