Streamer, YouTuber and all-round internet celebrity IShowSpeed has recently been helping one of the biggest TV stations in Europe, Sky Sports, with its broadcasts of English Premier League matches. That was, reportedly, until the executives at the channel found out about a video that went viral back in April.
IShowSpeed—more commonly known as simply ‘Speed’—had been in the stands earlier this month to watch his team Manchester United play Fulham in the league (and then my beloved Aston Villa for the League Cup). While there, he helped present segments for the channel and appeared on their social media feeds. Here’s one (surviving) example:
And here’s another (uploaded independently by someone who had saved the footage), showing him failing to recognise either Jamie Redknapp or Louis Saha:
Speed, who got famous streaming games like Fortnite, NBA 2K and FIFA, was presumably brought in by Sky to leverage his internet following and supposed appeal to younger football fans, which at time of posting stands at 13 million YouTube subscribers and 5.4 million Instagram followers (he is permanently banned from Twitch).
As of today, though, nearly all of Speed’s promotional material on Sky’s social media has been deleted (with the exception of that single Tweet above), with The Athletic reporting that Sky made the decision after they were made aware of a video that did the rounds in April—one that became so notorious we reported on it—in which Speed made incredibly hostile and misogynistic comments to his teammates:
While Speed later apologised for those comments, they were so bad that Riot Games banned him from not just Valorant, but League of Legends as well. His Twitch ban, meanwhile, was also for misogyny, just a different video. It’s weird—given that it was so widely reported, the tweet above having 180,000 likes and 11.7 million views and it was only 7 months ago—that nobody at Sky thought to even Google his name before putting him in the spotlight like this!