Darren Rovell tweeting in 2016.

Darren Rovell, currently working for The Action Network, posted some remarkable tweets on Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday. Rovell (seen above during his time at ESPN) revealed that he has an extensive collection of MLK artifacts, showed some of those off, and responded to criticism of him with “some of my closest friends are Black!” Here are those initial tweets (the first one is still up, the second was later deleted, but preserved in screengrabs):

Of course, many wondered why Rovell has “one of the largest Martin Luther King Jr. collections in the world.” To some who said he should have let these artifacts go on display in a museum, he responded that he was unwilling to with the Smithsonian because they required a donation rather than a loan, and that his attempts with other museums were thwarted by COVID:

Rovell’s whole timeline of responses to his many critics is available (to those he hasn’t yet blocked, or those willing to go to the effort of an incognito tab) for those interested, but what’s perhaps more notable to a wide audience is some of the Rovell discussion this led to on Twitter.

This is far from the first tweet on MLK Day to draw comment, and it’s not even necessarily on the level of Florida State’s 2019 gaffe. But it did draw a lot of critical reaction. And it even led to an edit to Rovell’s Wikipedia page, one saying he had “recently acknowledged having one of the largest MLK collections and several close black friends”:


Anyway, this at least diverted attention away from everyone yelling at Rovell over a tweet criticizing a name, image and likeness (NIL) deal at Miami. (Most of the rest of his Twitter timeline is replies to critics there, usually involving him again posting a link to an article he wrote in December.) So on that level, the discussion of his “MLK collection” at least changed the conversation. And it got a lot of people who hadn’t thought about him in years to once again think of him. But not all of those thoughts were positive.

[Screengrab via @MikeSanchize on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.