Reggie Bush is upset with ESPN for a bizarre reason.
The former Heisman trophy running back recently gave an interview to Playboy Magazine (link is slightly NSFW) in which he discussed a variety of topics, including the recent trend of the NCAA allowing players to profit off their names and likeness.
Bush was asked whether he'd be interested in coaching and says that's not a job for him. Instead, he wants to help guide players. During his answer, he touched on the subject of players making money.
Nope, no coaching for me. Maybe I’d take a front-office position, but I’m not trying to go back and coach. I would like to help people, but I’d rather just pop in for guidance. Guidance is the one thing that young athletes coming through the college system miss on so much. I missed on it. They’re about to start paying college athletes. This is something that has never been experienced before, and it’s going to destroy some people if their foundation is not in the right place.
His last quote provided a juicy soundbite when he said, "it’s going to destroy some people." So ESPN took the quotes and aggregated it into its own story. It's a common practice you'll see not only on every sports site, but every single news site on the internet.
But that didn't stop Bush from voicing his complaints on Twitter.
Dear @espn Please take this story down, I did not speak to you, I never gave you approval to write this story, this is not what I said nor the context I said it in, and your trying to use my name with this bogus headline for clickbait. Let’s not allow this to happen again... pic.twitter.com/GDHYUpPfAs— Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) May 25, 2020
Bush claiming, "I did not speak to you, I never gave you approval to write this story" is a really strange response. Saying ESPN can't write about him simply because he didn't talk to them is just wrong.
Websites constantly write about quotes athletes give to other publications. Considering Bush has dealt with the media his entire career, and is now currently a member of the media as an analyst for Fox Sports means he should know better.
His second criticism is a little more fair, but it still doesn't make sense. Bush claims this is "not what I said," but the article directly quotes him from the Playboy interview. It is what he said. If it's not what he said, then he has an issue with Playboy, not ESPN.
Bush's quotes eventually made their way to ESPN's "SportsCenter" broadcast, where analysts discussed them. And at the end of the segment, ESPN released a statement through an anchor claiming the network was trying to reach out to him for clarification.
However, it's not clear whether ESPN will be able to contact Bush. The former running back tweeted out, "My contract is with [Fox Sports] I can’t even talk to ESPN."