ESPN announcer doesn’t want police protection

ESPN play-by-play announcer Mark Jones will refuse the standard police protection for his Saturday college football game, he said on Twitter.

The tweet came in the early hours of Thursday after the officers who shot Breonna Taylor were not charged in her death. Jones is working the game between Army and No. 16 Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium in Ohio.

ESPN announcer says police can ‘take the day off’

Jones, who is Black, said in the tweet that he’ll tell the police officer he “can just take the day off.” He said it was for his own protection from police that he didn’t want the security detail.

Jones wrote:

“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.”

There are no fans allowed at the Cincinnati game except immediate family members of players and coaches. It will lessen the need for police protection.

Jones answers to old tweets about police

People dug up old tweets by Jones about police and he replied to a few of them.

In 2011 he wrote he loved police escorts because it cut down on travel time. On Thursday he added the caveat that he rides with two white co-workers “who’d take a bullet for me.”

And he explained a situation while in Syracuse in 2018, when his bag fell out of the SUV by crediting a Black man who found and returned it.

Jones has worked at ESPN since 1990 and currently does play-by-play for the NBA and college football. He broadcasted games for ESPN from the NBA bubble, where players regularly spoke about Taylor and walked out of games to protest police brutality and racial injustice.

Jones argues for defunding the police

Jones argued for defunding the police in separate tweets late this week. He wrote that police have never saved or helped him, but have pulled guns on him. “I could do without em,” he wrote.

In another tweet, he said his late uncle was the first police officer on the Toronto police force and experienced “countless amounts of stories of racist police in his own police force.” Jones grew up in Toronto.

The sports world immediately reacted to the news and players have spoken about Taylor and the ruling to media in the days since.

Related: The most dominant college football programs of the decade 

25 PHOTOSThe most dominant college football programs of the decadeSee GalleryThe most dominant college football programs of the decade25. Boise State

Avg. football revenue, last 10 years: $16.8 million

New Year’s 6 bowl appearances: 1

Conference championships: 5

BCS title game/Playoff appearances: 0

National championships: 0

Players in the NFL: 15

One thing to know: Only three FBS schools (Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State) have won more games than Boise State (109) over the last decade.

Data is is for the 2009-18 seasons across FBS, FCS, Division II, and Division III. Championships were weighted by division and years since title.


24. Iowa

Avg. football revenue, last 10 years: $53.3 million

New Year’s 6 bowl appearances: 1

Conference championships: 0

BCS title game/Playoff appearances: 0

National championships: 0

Players in the NFL: 27

One thing to know: Iowa has won at least eight games in eight of the last 10 seasons. 

(Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)

23. Stanford

Avg. football revenue, last 10 years: $31.5 million

New Year’s 6 bowl appearances: 1

Conference championships: 3

BCS title game/Playoff appearances: 0

National championships: 0

Players in the NFL: 26

One thing to know: Stanford, Wisconsin, and Boise State are the only FBS schools with 100 wins over the last decade and no appearances in the College Football Playoff or the BCS title game. 

(Photo by Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

22. Northwest Missouri State

Avg. football revenue, last 10 years: $2.6 million

New Year’s 6 bowl appearances: 0

Conference championships: 7

BCS title game/Playoff appearances: 0

National championships: 4 (Div. II)

Players in the NFL: 0

One thing to know: Northwest Missouri State has won three of the last six Division II titles. 

(Photo by Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

21. Oklahoma State

Avg. football revenue, last 10 years: $40.1 million

New Year’s 6 bowl appearances: 1

Conference championships: 1

BCS title game/Playoff appearances: 0

National championships: 0

Players in the NFL: 15

One thing to know: Of the FBS programs in this ranking, only Stanford ($31.5 million) makes less money each year from their football team than the Cowboys.

(Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

20. Florida

Avg. football revenue, last 10 years: $75.5 million

New Year’s 6 bowl appearances: 1

Conference championships: 0

BCS title game/Playoff appearances: 0

National championships: 0

Players in the NFL: 46

One thing to know: The Gators rank 8th in revenue generated and third in players reaching the NFL.

(Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

19. Michigan

Avg. football revenue, last 10 years: $86.0 million

New Year’s 6 bowl appearances: 2

Conference championships: 0

BCS title game/Playoff appearances: 0

National championships: 0

Players in the NFL: 35

One thing to know: Michigan is third in football revenue generated over the last 10 years. 

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

18. Michigan State

Avg. football revenue, last 10 years: $55.0 million

New Year’s 6 bowl appearances: 1

Conference championships: 2

BCS title game/Playoff appearances: 1

National championships: 0

Players in the NFL: 18

One thing to know: Only Ohio State (4) has more Big Ten championships over the last decade. 

(Photo by Adam Ruff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

17. Oregon

Avg. football revenue, last 10 years: $50.8 million

New Year’s 6 bowl appearances: 0

Conference championships: 3

BCS title game/Playoff appearances: 2

National championships: 0

Players in the NFL: 22

One thing to know: Oregon and Alabama are the only two FBS schools to lose multiple national championship games over the last decade.

(Photo by Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

16. Mount Union

Avg. football revenue, last 10 years: $484,900

New Year’s 6 bowl appearances: 0

Conference championships: 9

BCS title game/Playoff appearances: 

National championships: 3 (Div. III)

Players in the NFL: 0

One thing to know: Mount Union has reached the Division III national championship game nine times in the last 10 years.

(Photo by Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

15. Penn State

Avg. football revenue, last 10 years: $72.6 million

New Year’s 6 bowl appearances: 2

Conference championships: 1

BCS title game/Playoff appearances: 0

National championships: 0

Players in the NFL: 28

One thing to know: Many thought the Jerry Sandusky scandal would kill the Penn State football program. Five years later, James Franklin had the team back in the Top 10. 

(Abby Drey/Centre Daily Times/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

14. Washington

Avg. football revenue, last 10 years: $58.2 million

New Year’s 6 bowl appearances: 2

Conference championships: 2

BCS title game/Playoff appearances: 1

National championships: 0

Players in the NFL: 27

One thing to know: Washington is the only Pac-12 school to reach the College Football Playoff in the last four years. 

(Photo by Jesse Beals/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

13. Wisconsin

Avg. football revenue, last 10 years: $54.0 million

New Year’s 6 bowl appearances: 2

Conference championships: 2

BCS title game/Playoff appearances: 0

National championships: 0

Players in the NFL: 27

One thing to know: Wisconsin and Stanford are tied for the most wins (102) over the last decade without a single appearance in the College Football Playoff or BCS title game. 

(Photo by Mark Vancleave/Star Tribune via Getty Images)

12. Notre Dame

Avg. football revenue, last 10 years: $80.7 million

New Year’s 6 bowl appearances: 1

Conference championships: 0

BCS title game/Playoff appearances: 2

National championships: 0

Players in the NFL: 32

One thing to know: Notre Dame has been ranked in the AP Top 5 at least once in five of the last ten seasons. 

(Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

11. Louisiana State University

Avg. football revenue, last 10 years: $77.5 million

New Year’s 6 bowl appearances: 1

Conference championships: 1

BCS title game/Playoff appearances: 1

National championships: 0

Players in the NFL: 44

One thing to know: Only three schools (Alabama, Ohio State, Florida) produce more NFL players. 

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

10. Texas

Avg. football revenue, last 10 years: $113.6 million

New Year’s 6 bowl appearances: 1

Conference championships: 1

BCS title game/Playoff appearances: 1

National championships: 0

Players in the NFL: 25

One thing to know: Texas hasn’t been terribly dominant on the field recently, but no program is more dominant off the field. The football team has brought in $1.14 billion in revenue over the last decade, more than $200 million greater than any other school.

(Photo by John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

9. Florida State

Avg. football revenue, last 10 years: $51.5 million

New Year’s 6 bowl appearances: 2

Conference championships: 3

BCS title game/Playoff appearances: 2

National championships: 1

Players in the NFL: 36

One thing to know: Of the FBS programs in the top 15, no school makes less money with their football team.

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

8. Georgia

Avg. football revenue, last 10 years: $83.7 million

New Year’s 6 bowl appearances: 1

Conference championships: 1

BCS title game/Playoff appearances: 1

National championships: 0

Players in the NFL: 28

One thing to know: Only three schools (Texas, Alabama, Michigan) bring in more revenue from their football team. 

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

7. Auburn

Avg. football revenue, last 10 years: $76.7 million

New Year’s 6 bowl appearances: 2

Conference championships: 2

BCS title game/Playoff appearances: 2

National championships: 1

Players in the NFL: 32

One thing to know: Auburn is one of only four FBS schools to reach the national championship game twice in the last ten years. However, they also have seven seasons in which they lost at least five games. 

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

6. Wisconsin-Whitewater

Avg. football revenue, last 10 years: $383,600

New Year’s 6 bowl appearances: 0

Conference championships: 7

BCS title game/Playoff appearances: 0

National championships: 5 (Div. III)

Players in the NFL: 1

One thing to know: Wisconsin-Whitewater has averaged 12.6 wins per season over the last decade.

(Photo by Peter Lockley/ NCAA Photos via Getty Images

5. Oklahoma

Avg. football revenue, last 10 years: $73.1 million

New Year’s 6 bowl appearances: 1

Conference championships: 5.5

BCS title game/Playoff appearances: 3

National championships: 0

Players in the NFL: 29

One thing to know: Boise State (109) and Oklahoma (105) are the only FBS schools to win more than 102 games over the last decade without winning a national championship.

(Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

4. Ohio State

Avg. football revenue, last 10 years: $74.9 million

New Year’s 6 bowl appearances: 3

Conference championships: 4

BCS title game/Playoff appearances: 2

National championships: 1

Players in the NFL: 50

One thing to know: The Buckeyes’ 50 players in the NFL are second only to Alabama (57).

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

3. North Dakota State

Avg. football revenue, last 10 years: $4.3 million

New Year’s 6 bowl appearances: 0

Conference championships: 8

BCS title game/Playoff appearances: 0

National championships: 7 (FCS)

Players in the NFL: 4

One thing to know: North Dakota State has won seven of the last eight FCS championships. No other school has won more than six championships in the history of the FCS/I-AA. 

(Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

2. Clemson

Avg. football revenue, last 10 years: $41.4 million

New Year’s 6 bowl appearances: 0

Conference championships: 5

BCS title game/Playoff appearances: 4

National championships: 2

Players in the NFL: 32

One thing to know: Clemson has appeared in the last four College Football Playoffs and three of the last four national championship games. 

(Photo by Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

1. Alabama

Avg. football revenue, last 10 years: $89.9 million

New Year’s 6 bowl appearances: 0

Conference championships: 6

BCS title game/Playoff appearances: 8

National championships: 5

Players in the NFL: 57

One thing to know: Alabama is the only school to appear in all five College Football Playoffs.

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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