ESPN quietly bought out the rest of Whitlock’s contract a couple of weeks ago, Sports Illustrated reported on Sunday. The company hired Whitlock as founding editor of The Undefeated, a website on the intersection of race and sports, in August 2013 — however, the website remains in digital limbo, having not been launched more than two years later.
“We have mutually agreed to part ways, which was Jason’s preference following the shift from his role as Editor-in-Chief,” an ESPN spokesperson said in a statement. “Jason is a talented print and television commentator, and we wish him success in his next chapter. ESPN remains fully committed to The Undefeated and plans continue toward an official launch.”
When Whitlock shifted from editor-in-chief, ESPN said at the time that he “will now be entirely focused on what he does best: creating distinctive and compelling content, which will live across various ESPN platforms.”
A source says Whitlock may continue to make appearances on ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption,” assuming it’s allowed by his next employer.
Whitlock had worked with ESPN in the past before signing on to run the website, working as a writer on ESPN.com from 2002 to 2006. He also appeared as a commentator on several of its shows.