The outspoken sports columnist and podcaster Jason Whitlock was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, on 27th April 1967. He currently hosts “Fearless with Jason Whitlock” for Blaze Media, a conservative media company; in years past, he worked as a columnist for AOL Sports, ESPN, Foxsports.com, and The Kansas City Star. Jason was also a radio personality for Kansas City sports stations, with much of his expertise coming from his years playing college football at Ball State University.
Jason’s first job was a part-time gig at The Herald-Times, a small publication in Bloomington, Indiana, but he soon scored his first full-time job reporting for The Charlotte Observer. A year later, he joined the team at The Ann Arbor News, and covered sporting events at the University of Michigan from 1992 to 1994.
In 1994, Jason’s career changed for the better when he joined the team at The Kansas City Star, however, he was suspended four years later for controversially heckling fans at a Kansas City Chiefs American Football game.
In 2002, the Indiana native began writing columns for ESPN and guest-hosting many ESPN shows, such as “Pardon the Interruption” and “Jim Rome Is Burning”. In 2006, Jason sensationally announced that he would be leaving his ESPN online column to begin writing for AOL Sports, but intended to continue his television work for ESPN.
Shortly after his announcement, Jason gave an interview to a sports blog in which he spoke negatively of Mike Lupica and Robert Jackson, two of his ESPN colleagues, with inflammatory quotes that included calling Mike “an insecure, mean-spirited busybody” and claiming that Robert’s “fake ghetto posturing” was an insult to black intelligence – nobody was surprised when ESPN quietly let Jason go. In September of the same year, Jason shared that he had been fired from the network for his remarks, and also published his first column for AOL Sports.
In summer 2007, Jason began writing for Fox Sports. The highlight of his career came months later when he was awarded the National Journalism Award by the Scripps Howard Foundation, making history as the first sportswriter to win the award and its accompanying $10,000 prize. In August 2010, the Kansas City Star announced Jason’s departure after 16 years.
Jason once again landed himself in hot water in February 2012, when the Knicks basketball team won 92-85 against the Los Angeles Lakers. The journalist shockingly Tweeted: “some lucky lady in NYC is gonna feel a couple inches of pain tonight”, which many interpreted as a jab towards Asian sportsman Jeremy Lin, who had scored 38 points in the game. Jason was lambasted for reinforcing negative stereotypes, with the Asian American Journalists Association demanding an apology. Surprisingly, Jason soon replied: “I debased a feel-good sports moment. For that, I’m truly sorry.”
Moving on from the Jeremy Lin debacle, Jason was getting ready to participate in the launch of the Fox Sports 1 channel which took place in August 2013. However, he felt that his writing would suffer if he began working in TV again. After meeting with ESPN President John Skipper, Jason accepted his offer to return, and promptly left Fox Sports.
Although Jason’s return to the network appeared promising at first, with a scheduled launch date of summer 2015 for his new column and website “The Undefeated.com”, unspecified behind-the-scenes issues led to the website being delayed for over 18 months with little to no explanation. Eventually, ESPN announced that Jason would not be serving as the editor-in-chief for “The Undefeated”, instead replaced by Leon Carter. Months later, Jason left ESPN for the last time.
Undeterred, Jason returned to Fox and began a new show airing on Fox Sports 1, “Speak for Yourself with Cowherd and Whitlock”. When Cowherd was replaced by Marcellus Wiley in 2018, the show was retitled “Speak for Yourself with Whitlock and Wiley”, but in June 2020, Jason once again found himself jobless when Fox announced that they’d been unable to reach an agreement to renew his contract.
Join Marcellus Wiley and Jason Whitlock for special episodes of Speak For Yourself during the week of the big game, live in Miami! 🎫 http://bit.ly/2Rboqr6
In the same month, Jason started a partnership with Clay Travis at OutKick, but a little over half a year later, Travis announced Jason’s departure, to which the latter immediately Tweeted: “Do not believe anything written or said about me unless I say it. All else is Fake News.” In a February 2021 interview with Front Office Sports, Jason described the partnership as a bad business deal, blaming himself for not vetting his business partners.
June 2021 saw Jason join Blaze Media and start a new show entitled “Fearless with Jason Whitlock”. In a controversial interview with Tucker Carlson, Jason boldly said: “I think most people that adopt this liberal philosophy and the agenda of progressives are doing it because they’ve been forced to. They don’t want to be framed as racist. They don’t want to be framed as sellouts.”
Describing himself as a “man of faith” and citing his church upbringing, Jason also compared liberals to Satanists in a roundabout way. Tucker shared the same views, adding: “When you say you can change your own gender by wishing it, you are saying you are God, and that is satanic. I completely agree.”
Some of Jason’s other works include pieces for Playboy, Vibe, and The Sporting News. In June 2008, Jason wrote a lengthy column for Playboy in which he questioned America’s drug-war and incarceration polices, which Playboy headlined “The Black KKK”. In retaliation, Jason wrote two columns in which he slammed Chris Napolitano, the magazine’s editorial director, for the misleading headline.
All in all, Jason’s career has had its fair share of ups and downs. The sports columnist has yet to be publicly linked romantically to anyone, preferring to focus on his professional life. With an active social media presence and over 150,000 followers on Instagram, Jason has been tirelessly promoting his latest show. Although his conservative views have earned him plenty of criticism, Jason has many supporters, and frequently interviews like-minded public figures such as former Chicago Bulls coach Tim Floyd.
Regardless, the various controversies don’t seem to have done his bank account much harm – as of mid-2023, Jason’s net worth is estimated at over $10 million.