ESPN has chosen to delay airing its 30 for 30 documentary "Down in the Valley" as sexual assault allegations against Sacramento Mayor and former Phoenix Suns guard Kevin Johnson has garnered renewed attention. Johnson was never charged by Phoenix authorities. The documentary follows the city's quest to keep the Sacramento Kings from relocating.
"We are re-evaluating the content presentation of it and delaying the premiere," John Dahl, the vice president and executive producer of ESPN Films and Original Content told Sports Illustrated. "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."
Before the Sacramento premiere of the film, which occurred as scheduled, Johnson says he expects the film to air.
"I do think they will air it at the appropriate time, and we're going to be respectful of whatever that timeline is, but today we're going to go in and enjoy the story."
Dahl made it very clear that this not a film about Kevin Johnson.
"It was never a biography and it still won't be," Dahl said. "It was always about exploring the people of Sacramento banding together against overwhelming odds in this crusade to save their team. That's what drew us to this story ... No question Kevin Johnson as mayor since 2008 has been a big part of that story. But this is a specific story that touches on larger themes."
"We are aware of the renewed focus out there on events and issues and allegations in Mayor Johnson's past," Dahl said. "We know what is out there and we acknowledge that it is out there and we want to make sure that it is clear to everyone that we are responsible how we handle the story."