- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 16, 2017

ESPN issued an apology Tuesday after a clip from the network’s 28-hour Fantasy Sports Marathon went viral the night before and drew widespread disdain.

In the clip, posted to Twitter Monday evening, a white, male auctioneer holds up a cut-out of Odell Beckham Jr.’s face on a popsicle stick, and a majority white audience proceeds to bid for the New York Giants wide receiver.

The sketch was meant to imitate fantasy football auction drafts, but many online compared the clip to a slave auction.

After the clip went viral, Beckham simply tweeted out “Speechless.” Shaun King of the New York Daily News demanded ESPN apologize for “doing a sketch where you auctioned a Black man off to the highest bidder.”

“Auction drafts are a common part of fantasy football, and ESPN’s segments replicated an auction draft with a diverse slate of top professional football players. Without that context, we understand the optics could be portrayed as offensive, and we apologize,” the network said in a statement given to USA TODAY Sports.

The incident came in the wake of the tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend, when one woman was killed and dozens more injured when a car drove into a crowd of counterprotestors during a white nationalist rally.

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