The Browns are fighting back against ESPN through back channels — and, more importantly, their wallet.
Weeks after ESPN.com ran a story detailing the Browns’ inner dysfunction under the management of co-owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam, the former is taking action from his other title. Pilot Flying J, a travel center which has CEO is Jimmy Haslam, is pulling its sponsorship and advertisement deal with ESPN, Sports Business Daily reported Wednesday.
Pilot Flying J and ESPN were two years into a four-year deal, according to the report, and are now working to terminate the contract, believed to be worth low-to-mid seven figures per year.
The Haslams were at the center of the ESPN.com story, which described Jimmy Haslam as “tightly [gripping] every aspect of the Cleveland organization, often creating as much chaos as he inherited.”
Dee Haslam, meanwhile, was cited by multiple unnamed sources as saying: “We just don’t know what we are doing. If we’d known how hard it would be, we never would have bought the team.”
She denied ever saying that, through a team spokesman, but the Haslams have now let their latest action do the talking.
The story also detailed Pilot Flying J being raided by FBI and IRS agents in 2013 for a fraud case, which left the company paying $85 million in civil settlements and $92 million in criminal penalties.
This post was originally posted at https://nypost.com/2019/02/13/browns-ripping-up-espn-deal-in-wild-payback-to-explosive-report/. WGEH does not own this content and is not responsible for it.