A handful of journalists at Deadspin quit Wednesday after a months-long battle with their new leadership and disagreements over editorial mandates made by the sports site.

Laura Wagner, Kelsey McKinney, Tom Ley, Lauren Theisen, Patrick Redford, Albert Burneko and Chris Thompson all resigned according to TechCrunch. The group took to Twitter to announce their resignations.

When Ley announced his resignation, Wagner quickly followed suit. Ley’s resignation was apparently prompted by the Tuesday resignation of Barry Petchesky, infamous for pro-rape comments.


Several others posted similar notices.

The mass-resignations are the latest in a sordid few years for what used to be a respected sports news site. Deadspin is owned by G/O Media, formerly known as Gizmodo Media Group, and before that, Gawker Media before Gawker was sued into oblivion by Hulk Hogan. G/O Media was formed when Univision sold the site to Great Hill Partners and appointed former Forbes CEO Jim Spanfeller to run the show.

Apparently, the writers there weren’t happy with their new management.

But as anyone with half a brain will tell you, the media world is a vicious one. The bargaining power among easily-replaceable bloggers at a left-wing sports site (a market saturated with titans like ESPN and Yahoo Sports, among others) is minimal at best. Apparently, that didn’t cross the minds of the millennials on the Deadspin staff, and they responded in the most millennial way possible.

Wagner, who most recently picked a fight with Barstool Sports president Dave Portnoy when Portnoy’s outlet sponsored rally towels at TD Garden during the Boston Bruins’ Stanley Cup appearance, wrote a hit piece on Spanfeller citing anonymous sources inside Deadspin. Wagner is a social justice hag (which is why she publicly beefed with the anti-PC crowd at Barstool), and complained that the new management at Deadspin was not diverse enough, among other complaints.

She wrote of Spanfeller and her other bosses:

These men, and others who now hold C-suite positions at the company, were each hired without a public recruitment process, and several were installed over high-ranking women who had been successfully performing those jobs at the company for years. In one case, sources say Spanfeller did offer to promote a woman to run human resources, but on the condition she fire another woman at the company as her first order of business. (Spanfeller denies this claim.)

That was in August.

Things became more turbulent later that month when Deadspin’s editor-in-chief Megan Greenwell resigned, complaining that the management – namely editorial director Paul Maidment – was steering coverage towards sports and away from politics.

The infighting continued, and earlier this week an internal memo was leaked to The Daily Beast in which management repeated this decree.

“To create as much great sports journalism as we can requires a 100% focus of our resources on sports. And it will be the sole focus,” Maidment said in the memo. “Deadspin will write only about sports and that which is relevant to sports in some way.”

Staff at Deadspin also criticized the site’s user experience, which they apparently thought was too focused on advertisements. That reportedly led to Farmers Insurance pulling a lucrative ad campaign from the site. After all that, the group resigned.

Gizmodo Media, which apparently has union, issued the following statement:

Today, a number of our colleagues at Deadspin resigned from their positions. From the outset, CEO Jim Spanfeller has worked to undermine a successful site by curtailing its most well-read coverage because it makes him personally uncomfortable. This is not what journalism looks like and it is not what editorial independence looks like.

“Stick to sports” is and always has been a thinly veiled euphemism for “don’t speak truth to power.” In addition to being bad business, Spanfeller’s actions are morally reprehensible. The GMG Union stands with our current and former Deadspin colleagues and condemns Jim Spanfeller in the strongest possible terms.

Now, the Deadspin staff will be forced to find new employment before they can “speak truth to power” again. Social justice killed a once-fine news site.