Wojnarowski responded with an email by saying “F–k you,” after Hawley’s office sent a news release detailing a letter he planned to send NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, criticizing the league’s decision to limit messages players can wear on their uniforms to “pre-approved, social justice slogans” while “censoring support” for law enforcement and criticism of the Chinese Communist Party.
Hawley wrote in the letter to Silver that the league’s “free expression appears to stop at the edge of your corporate sponsors’ sensibilities.”
After news of Wojnarowski’s suspension broke on Saturday night, NBA players started tweeting out #FreeWoj on Twitter in support of the longtime basketball reporter.
Here was some of the reaction across the league:
Wojnarowski, ESPN’s most prominent reporter, breaks NBA news on Twitter, and his breaking news messages have been dubbed “Woj Bombs.”
He apparently didn’t appreciate Hawley’s message.
“Don’t criticize #China or express support for law enforcement to @espn. It makes them real mad,” Hawley tweeted with an apparent screenshot of the response.
Wojnarowski did not immediately respond when asked for comment but apologized shortly after on Twitter.
“I was disrespectful and I made a regrettable mistake. I am sorry for the way I handled myself and I am reaching out immediately to Senator Hawley to apologize directly,” he wrote. I also need to apologize to my ESPN colleagues because I know my actions were unacceptable and should not reflect on any of them.”
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos and Brian Flood contributed to this report.