ESPN announcer swears off police protection at football games over Breonna Taylor case

September 24, 2020

A longtime ESPN announcer has vowed to forgo protective police detail while covering sporting events for the network in the wake of the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.

Veteran play-by-play man Mark Jones, who calls NBA and college football games for the network, said in a passionate series of tweets on Thursday that he plans to decline police protection because "I'd rather not have an officer shoot me."

Jones, responding to the Wednesday announcement that a Kentucky grand jury had declined to indict any of the six police officers involved with Taylor's death, said the next officer assigned to protect him can "take the day off."

"Saturday at my football game I’ll tell the police officer on duty to 'protect' me he can just take the day off," Jones said. "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"

The fiery tweet picked up where Jones left off on Wednesday in the hours immediately after the announcement, when the veteran sportscaster claimed police had previously pulled weapons on him and declined to stop yard-sign thieves from snatching Black Lives Matter signage from his yard.

The series of posts turned heads on social media, particularly with right-leaning users. Critics resurfaced old posts in which Jones praised or thanked law enforcement officers for assisting his production crews on game day.

Jones responded to one such post, clarifying that he always rides in a separate vehicle with white coworkers.

Jones, an unapologetic supporter of former President Obama on his Twitter account, also appeared to favorite a tweet making light of the recent season-ending injury suffered by 49ers star and President Trump supporter Nick Bosa, Outkick the Coverage reported.

Jones is typically paired with analyst Dusty Dvoracek for college football games. The Toronto native called his first football game of the season last weekend after a stint calling NBA games inside the league's bubble campus at Disney World.

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