ESPN announcer Mark Jones sends anti-police tweet ahead of Army game
ESPN announcer Mark Jones sent an anti-police tweet on Wednesday that received attention online.
Jones will be calling Saturday’s Army-Cincinnati game and said that he doesn’t want any police involvement/police escort for the game. He says he fears he will be shot by an officer over his skin color and doesn’t want to sign his “own death certificate.” He questioned the police’s ability to protect him.
Saturday at my football game I’ll tell the police officer on duty to “protect” me he can just take the day off. Fr.
I’d rather not have the officer shoot me because he feared for his life because of my black skin or other dumb ish.
I’m not signing my own death certificate
— MarkJonesESPN (@MarkJonesESPN) September 24, 2020
Jones’ tweet was viewed by many as extremely hyperbolic, and somewhat hypocritical. In the past, Jones shared on Twitter how thankful he was for a police presence.
In 2011, Jones boasted about how much he enjoyed the special treatment he received from having a police escort to games.
I'm not going to lie. I love our police escorts to the stadium. Saves us a good 40 min to 1 hour of not waiting in traffic.
— MarkJonesESPN (@MarkJonesESPN) October 8, 2011
Police escort to the Neyland Stadium and the game ! Gotta get to that announce booth.I sit in FRONT http://t.co/76MEpTSr
— MarkJonesESPN (@MarkJonesESPN) October 29, 2011
He did the same in 2016:
Traffic never looked so good in ATL on I75/I85. You must have a police escort. Lol. https://t.co/4fyc0deXfD
— MarkJonesESPN (@MarkJonesESPN) April 7, 2016
He also praised a police officer in 2016 for making a positive impact in the community.
— MarkJonesESPN (@MarkJonesESPN) July 15, 2016
As recently as 2018, he expressed gratitude for Syracuse police helping him to find a lost bag.
S/o to the Syracuse Police Dept who helped me secure the today. I appreciate y’all. Keep up the great work. Real professionals pic.twitter.com/RytChETJ6E
— MarkJonesESPN (@MarkJonesESPN) September 15, 2018
This week, Jones liked tweets about Nick Bosa, who has openly supported Donald Trump in the past, tearing his ACL. He also retweeted a tweet calling Trump a “white supremacist.” ESPN declined comment when asked about Jones’ Trump retweet.
If Jones appreciated the preferential treatment he received from police in 2011 and 2016, and the work police did to help him in 2018, why has his attitude changed so drastically?
Furthermore, a 2018 Washington Post article cited a study saying that the amount of fatal killings of unarmed black men by police officers had declined steeply since 2015. In 2018, seven unarmed black men were killed by police, compared to 10 white men and one Hispanic man. The amount of unarmed black men killed by police declined from 36 in 2015 to seven in 2018.
If Jones were looking at the stats he would see there is actually far less reason to fear for his life when around the officers whose presence he seemed to greatly enjoy in the past.
The 58-year-old announcer has been calling games for ABC and ESPN since 1990. He was involved in a past issue we covered in 2018 when he got pulled from calling Washington games due to issues with the program.