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#pounditFriday, July 12, 2024

ESPN misidentifies Jrue Holiday’s wife Lauren during Celtics’ title clincher

A woman incorrectly identified as Lauren Holiday

Jrue Holiday now gets to celebrate the second championship of his NBA career with his wife Lauren … but it is not whoever was shown on the ESPN broadcast of Monday’s game.

During a timeout late the fourth quarter of Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks, ESPN stayed on the air as part of YouTube TV’s “Commercial-Free Crunch Time.” The broadcast filled the air time by talking about the Celtics guard Holiday and his rich history of service to the community along with his wife Lauren. But things went off the rails when ESPN panned into the crowd. They showed a woman who was in the audience and identified her as Lauren Holiday. Unfortunately though, it was someone totally different (presumably just a random fan in the crowd).

For reference, this is what Lauren Holiday actually looks like.

A few minutes later, ESPN’s Mike Breen issued an apology on the air and confirmed that the woman shown was not in fact Lauren Holiday.

Lauren Holiday is an icon in her own right. She is a former professional soccer player who won two Olympic gold medals with the U.S. women’s national team (USWNT) and also later won the FIFA Women’s World Cup during her illustrious playing career. Lauren then became an inspirational story after successfully beating a brain tumor that she was diagnosed with in 2016. On top of all that, the Holidays, who met when they were in college at UCLA, have earned a strong reputation as philanthropists, giving millions of dollars to businesses and non-profits in marginalized communities through their foundation, the JLH Social Impact Fund.

But none of that was enough for ESPN to correctly identify Lauren Holiday during Monday’s game. That was probably as bad as the mistake that we saw in the playoffs on a different network a few years ago.

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