“Today, I have resigned from my duties as President of ESPN. I have struggled for many years with a substance addiction. I have decided that the most important thing I can do right now is to take care of my problem.”
~ ESPN President John Skipper, in a prepared statement
When the news broke on December 18th, it shocked the sports world. John Skipper, who had served as president of ESPN since 2012, resigned his position, citing an undisclosed substance abuse problem. While many people expressed surprise at the unexpected announcement, support for Skipper has been universal.
George Bodenheimer, the former ESPN president who will serve as acting chair while a permanent replacement is found, said, “The most important thing right now for John and his family is that he conquers his addiction, and the entire ESPN family is behind him.”
Hiding in Plain Sight
Like most other “functioning addicts”, Skipper hid his problem well.
At 62 years of age, Skipper had an impressive resume:
- Master’s Degree in English Literature from Columbia University
- Experience with Rolling Stone, Spin, and Us magazines
- Senior Vice President/General Manager/Vice President of Content for ESPN the Magazine
- President of ESPN, Inc.
- Co-Chairman of Disney Media Networks
He was well-liked and respected, and often spoke with enthusiasm and confidence about the future of ESPN. Just last month, Skipper signed a contract extension through 2021.
But he also evidently battled private demons, and his decision could not have been easy. “I come to this public disclosure with embarrassment, trepidation and a feeling of having let others I care about down,” the statement read.
What Can We Learn from All of This?
The most important take away from this is that substance abuse, addiction, and all of the problems and consequences that come along can impact ANYONE, no matter how successful or respected they are in other areas of their life.
It also highlights a stark reality – addiction is a progressive disease that ALWAYS gets worse. No matter how well hidden, it will ALWAYS eventually make its victim’s life unmanageable.
John Skipper is making the hardest confession of his life – that he needs help. But he is also making the most courageous decision of his life – he is seeking that help.
If you are ready to make that confession and that decision, Lasting Recovery outpatient drug and alcohol rehab in San Diego can help you regain balance and control in your life.