Sports Illustrated went woke and now with this one action they proved they’ve also gone broke
The list of “go woke, go broke” corporations is getting longer.
And you can now add the iconic sports magazine Sports Illustrated to the list.
Because Sports Illustrated went woke and now with this one action, they proved they’ve also gone broke.
Once-revered sports magazine Sports Illustrated has suffered a devastating setback after its publisher announced that it was laying off the publication’s entire staff.
A race to go woke ends under a black flag
This shocking news comes after Sports Illustrated (SI) made a hard left turn toward wokeism in the past year.
According to Front Office Sports, there have been a myriad of other internal problems over the last few years as well.
The story was first reported by Front Office Sports which revealed that Authentic, the licensing group that owns SI, has terminated its contract with the magazine’s management, The Arena Group.
Authentic bought the once highly respected sports magazine in 2019 for $110 million from its former owner Meredith.
In an email sent to the magazine’s staffers, Arena wrote, “We were notified by Authentic Brands Group (ABG) that the license under which the Arena Group operates the Sports Illustrated (SI) brand and SI-related properties has been officially revoked by ABG. As a result of this license revocation, we will be laying off staff that work on the SI brand.”
“Some employees will be terminated immediately,” the statement went on, “and paid in lieu of the applicable notice period under the [the union contract]. Employees with a last working day of today will be contacted by the People team soon. Other employees will be expected to work through the end of the notice period, and will receive additional information shortly.”
The Union Bosses weigh in
Mitch Goldich, the Union Boss representative for the sports magazine’s staffers, also posted a statement to X asking Arena to continue publishing the magazine.
“We have fought together as a union to maintain the standard of this storied publication that we love, and to make sure our workers are treated fairly for the value they bring to this company. It is a fight we will continue,” Goldich wrote.
Our statement on today’s mass layoffs at Sports Illustrated pic.twitter.com/tQjJdoHP4p
— Sports Illustrated Union (@si_union) January 19, 2024
Front Office Sports added that it seems Authentic has been working to regroup its entire publishing empire as the industry continues to struggle.
But Sports Illustrated has dealt with a string of setbacks; from several rounds of layoffs of key writers to frequent turnover of leadership, and an embarrassing incident with poorly written articles by artificial intelligence (AI).
Arena even fired the magazine’s CEO Ross Levinsohn when critics pointed out that SI had published a list of articles that seemed to lack any journalistic standards.
And then several past articles written using AI were removed from the magazine’s website.
And of course, there was the whole going woke debacle that severely damaged the once-popular magazine.
In May, the magazine chose transgender pop singer Kim Petras for the cover of its swimsuit edition.
And showing just how out of touch the publication was with its readership, they even promoted it on social media.
But the 2023 issue was not the first time SI, under Arena’s ownership, put a trans model on a swimsuit cover.
The magazine also chose transgender model Leyna Bloom in 2021.
— Sports Illustrated Swimsuit (@SI_Swimsuit) July 19, 2021
Sports Illustrated turns 70 this coming August, but it’s no longer clear if anyone will be around to celebrate.