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ESPN announced yesterday that the airing of its “30 for 30” documentary about Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s efforts to keep the Kings in Sacramento, entitled “Down In The Valley”, has been postponed.
ESPN’s announcement was first reported by Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch. From SI:
“We are re-evaluating the content presentation of it and delaying the premiere,” said John Dahl, the vice president and executive producer of ESPN Films and Original Content. “When [director] Jason Hehir and we collectively agree that the film is ready and we are comfortable with it, then we will pick that air date. I think the most important thing here is to make sure it’s clear that we are not tone deaf and we’re aware of a renewed focus on certain issues.
Johnson played professional basketball for the Cavaliers and Suns before becoming the Mayor of Sacramento. The documentary, which was set to air to the public on October 20, is reportedly a highly positive account of Johnson’s work to prevent the Kings from moving to another city.
While the film has been postponed, it doesn’t sound as though it’s been shelved permanently. The film’s director took to Twitter yesterday to clear the air:
We reached out to Johnson for comment, and received the following statement from the Sacramento Mayor’s Office:
” ‘Down in the Valley’ tells the true Sacramento success story, highlighting the benefits of an entire community working together to achieve the collective goal. While it’s unfortunate that the air date has been postponed, we enjoyed last night’s premiere in Sacramento and look forward to the rest of the country learning more about our Sacramento pride.”
You can watch a teaser of the film here.