Every day it seems like another ESPN talking head has something to say about an athlete and their activities off the field. With the NFL Draft inching closer and closer, many continue to discuss the saga of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston and his NFL future, especially now with his accuser, Erica Kinsman, suing him in civil court which has since even the earliest days of the accusation and Winston likely to be the first pick in the NFL draft later today.
Another Florida State athlete ESPN on-air personalities and writers have discussed in the past months have been Karlos Williams and Dalvin Cook. You may notice the reporter of both of these cases were none other than ESPN’s Mark Schlabach, the same reporter who was the ESPN “insider” throughout the entire Jameis Winston case while he was being accused of sexual assault and never charged with a crime.
It was rumored an ESPN reporter had spent at least a week in Tallahassee combing through police records trying to find anything they could on Florida State athletes. It would make sense it would take that amount of time given the amount of work needed for such a task and we are not sure if it has ever been confirmed who the ESPN reporter was doing the investigation, but would certainly not be surprising if it turned out to be Mark Schlabach himself who already had a relationship with Leon County State Attorney Willie Meggs; being the only reporter we could find who was granted a private video interview with Meggs in his office after his press conference disclosing no charges would be filed against Jameis Winston.
Why might Mark Schlabach or any other ESPN reporter do this?
Well, the obvious is to ride the media publicity of Jameis Winston and the Florida State football program at the time to drive more clicks and views to their site and shows. Schlabach told us this much years ago when referring to Auburn.
This is right in line with what Brent Musburger told us during the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, Brian and The Boz stating, “One of the things that drives ratings, that drives money…is a villain.”
So it’s no secret the agenda is to create stories to create revenue rather than simply report the news from the sports world.
After going through all those records, what did they come up with?
According to Mark Schlabach and Darren Rovell of ESPN, they came up with an “associate” to an alleged crime. That’s right, an “associate” to a crime. By the way the media portrays Florida State University of being a dirty program covering up for athletes like Jameis Winston, one would assume with so much digging a little more than an “associate” of someone who might have committed a crime would have been found.
Yes, that is the same David Cornwell who represented Jameis Winston responding to Rovell.
Of course Dalvin Cook was cleared of anything involving the case, it didn’t stop news outlet after news outlet from including his name with key words like “involved,” “named,” “reported,” and others with an assault case he had no involvement in, yet may follow him the rest of his career.
Previously and even currently many for ESPN are talking and writing about Jameis Winston and delivering misleading content, half-truths, less than half of the story and seemingly with a clear and obvious bias and agenda while purposely ignoring countless facts.
These have included, but certainly not limited to, Bob Ley and Jane McManus with ESPN Outside the Lines and independent articles, Kurt Streeter, Darren Rovell, Adam Caplan, Toby Petitpas, ESPNW’s Spain and Prim, Mike Mayock, Colin Cowherd, Matt Schick, Skip Bayless, Mark May, Paul Finebaum, of course Mark Schlabach among many others.
Outside the Lines for example was made with a with an overall tone toward portraying Jameis Winston, Jimbo Fisher, Florida State University, the city of Tallahassee and local law enforcement, all in a negative way with their phrasing, misleading contexts, sound bites and more.
This is done unfairly to all without providing all available information or a balanced report and worst of all, nobody cares to ask even the simplest questions of Jameis Winston’s accuser Erica Kinsman and never reporting without the mention of her accusations and in always in a way in which seems to make most assume he got away with a crime. This is furthered by always questioning Winston without providing any of the facts supporting his claims or anything of substance to the contrary of what his accuser claims.
So since ESPN has gone all out trying to tarnish the names of young amateur athletes undeservedly, unfairly and unprofessionally in the name of profit, we decided to take a look at those who work or have worked for ESPN who would be listed as “associates” of theirs.
We’ll try to break it down by those with drug and alcohol issues, those involving women or children issues and those with other issues such as racism and examples being set for others.
Jeff Dubay was arrested for possession of crack cocaine in 2008 and fired from his job as a co-host with the KFAN sports talk show. After his arrest and three unsuccessful attempts at traditional rehab, he was hired a few years later by 1500 ESPN Radio.
Michael Irvin was arrested in 1996 for cocaine possession. At the time of the arrest, he was lying on the floor covered in cocaine with multiple strippers performing sexual acts upon him.
ESPN tv analyst Matt Barnaby was fired in December of 2011 after a DWI arrest earlier in the day for which he later pleaded guilty to.
We’ll be discussing Barnaby more later.
Harry Teinowitz was arrested for DUI in 2011 while working for ESPN Radio 1000. The arresting officer also reported the smell of marijuana during the arrest. He entered rehab and returned to the show upon his release. The following May he was escorted out of the White Sox clubhouse for inappropriate behavior. Teinowitz had already been suspended in 2006 for his on-air behavior. ESPN still employed Teinowitz until 2013.
Jalen Rose plead guilty in 2011 for drunk driving after he crashed into a ditch. The judge told him she did not have an issue with his drinking until he became a weapon behind the wheel of a 2-ton vehicle. His lawyer was adamant she abused her power.
In 2010 Green was arrested for possession of narcotics, drug paraphernalia and an unspecified amount of cocaine. We’ll come to Green later for the more serious charges he was charged with.
Yes, Rush Limbaugh once worked for ESPN as a pro football commentator in 2003. We do not even need to go into all the controversies surrounding Limbaugh, but he only lasted a very short period of time (less than a week) after he made some racially insensitive comments about Donovan McNabb. The day after he resigned from ESPN, he was investigated for his prescription drug addiction.
A drug addicted racist isn’t exactly the best “associate” to have.
During an ESPN broadcast Mark May became very critical of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, lecturing to him to grow up, become more mature and can’t have those issues off the field playing at a high level.
At the ensuing ESPN College GameDay Show hosted in Tallahassee, one fan took particular exception to Mark May’s hypocritical comments.
In college in 1979, Mark May was arrested for jumping on parked cars, resisting and threatening officers and trying to start a riot at 2:30am. He was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, criminal mischief, terroristic threats and inciting to riot.
A sad thing to learn is how much censoring ESPN and law enforcement officers do with signs these days. Understandably there has to be a standard of appropriateness, but having Tallahassee Police take the fan sign away is an atrocity. It stated a fact with nothing inappropriate on it and on the property of a public university which prides itself on freedom of speech and the sharing of ideas without inappropriate censorship. The modern GameDay practice of not allowing homemade signs and giving fans the materials to write something generic on a sign and taking away anything “too funny” if it doesn’t support ESPN is nearly criminal, but that is a story for another day, however ESPN should be ashamed.
I do not believe I’ve ever seen a college football player with charges involving terrorism and inciting a riot until Mark May, but he wasn’t done there.
Not once, but twice he was arrested for DUI as a member of the Redskins in 1985 and again in 1990.
So it seems if there is anyone with little room to condemn someone for doing anything inappropriate off the field without acknowledging their own issues, it would be Mark May.
Perhaps he is still upset over his 1980 trip to Tallahassee when Florida State sent his highly ranked undefeated team led by Dan Marino (and three other 1st round picks that year of the 12 they had drafted) home with a 36-22 upset, their only loss of the season which cost them the National Championship. The same year May won the Outland Trophy.
Below is an image of Mark May & Dan Marino backed up near their own endzone during the game (51:00) complaining to the official about how loud the crowd was and unable to hear the snap count. After a penalty and an official timeout they were finally able to snap the ball after three attempts.
It is understandable to still be so upset with Florida State after such a game. Similarly, his partner Lou Holtz often let his feelings towards FSU be known after how the 1993-95 seasons played out with the Seminoles and we will get to him later.
Berman recorded prior to a show discussing taking illegal drugs beforehand. He goes on to teach about them being “just good enough to give you that pop” and how he smuggles them in. That certainly sets a good example for the rest of the crew. We’ll discuss him more later.
Cut from the Eagles for his abuse of alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy. Has worked for years with ESPN since retiring.
These Guys Know How To Treat Women
In 1995, when Ray Lewis played for the University of Miami, he was accused of battering a woman in a campus parking lot. Lewis faced felony aggravated battery charges against the woman, Kimberlie Arnold, who was his ex-girlfriend and four months pregnant. Arnold complained the police had hindered the investigation which was eventually dropped by the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office.
A year prior to the incident in 1994, Lewis had been investigated for simple battery after another girlfriend, Tatyana McCall (pregnant as well at the time), reported he pushed her, grabbed her by the throat and struck her in the face several times, but did not press charges and Lewis was never arrested. McCall gave birth to Lewis’ first child.
Lewis went on to be drafted in the 1st round of the 1996 NFL draft to the Baltimore Ravens. We’ll be seeing him again later.
In 2013, ESPN Cleveland show host Tony Rizzo was arrested for domestic violence after his wife locked herself in the bathroom, called 911 and claimed Rizzo had hurt her by choking and hitting her in the face after drinking.
He pleaded down to a lesser charge and was court ordered to Anger Management classes. Both before and after the incident at home, he has been criticized multiple times for his angry rants on the air.
ESPN still employs Rizzo.
Told you we would get back to him. In 2008, ESPN hired Matt Barnaby former hockey player Matt Barnaby to be a tv analyst. In May of 2011 he was arrested for domestic violence, second degree criminal contempt, harassment, second degree criminal trespass, felony criminal mischief after he broke into the home of his estranged wife and two children by kicking in the garage door, breaking into the home illegally. He was also charged with aggravated harassment via a cell phone after making angry phone calls when leaving the property.
It was learned just a couple of months earlier Barnaby was romantically involved with ESPN anchor/reporter Michelle Beadle. We will be discussing her more later.
The charges were dropped after being ordered to anger management counseling, 500 hours of community service and an order of protection from his wife.
As mentioned previously, ESPN retained him until his December arrest for driving while intoxicated where he pleaded guilty, ordered to pay a fine and serve another 100 hours of community service.
In 2011, senior writer Howard Bryant was arrested for domestic assault and battery against his wife. Witnesses claimed he put his hands around her neck and push her into a parked car and released her once he saw the approaching police cruiser. He was also charged with resisting arrest. Their 6-year-old son was in the backseat of their SUV at the time. Charges were later dropped.
In 2010, ESPN’s Around The Horn regular Jay Mariotti was originally charged with felony domestic assault against his girlfriend after an intoxicated fight with his girlfriend carried over from a club to an apartment. Mariotti faced two counts of domestic violence with injury, two counts of domestic violence, one count of grand theft, one count of false imprisonment and one count of vandalism, as many as seven misdemeanors.
Mariotti pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery and sentenced to 3 years probation and 40 days of community service.
In 2011 Mariotti was charged with three felonies involving his ex-girlfriend including stalking, domestic violence and assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, the same day the court ordered him to stay away from her. He was also charged with two misdemeanor counts of disobeying a court order. In addition to his actions against his ex-girlfriend that day, he confronted her again on a separate occasion, pulling out a chunk of her hair while demanding her to get plastic surgery because she was not satisfactory to his demands as a high-profile sports writer and general celebrity.
He pleaded no context and all charges were reduced to misdemeanors and Mariotti agreed to undergo a year of counseling, 90 days of community service and sentenced to five years probation.
In August of 2014, Max Kellerman admitted on air to getting drunk and slapping his girlfriend (now his wife) on his show Mason and Ireland Show on ESPNLA when discussing Ray Rice. ESPN suspended Kellerman for less than a week.
Stephen A. Smith
In July of 2014, when discussing the issue of Ray Rice, ESPN First Take‘s Stephen A. Smith reverted to terms such as “provocation” when discussing a woman’s/victim’s role in domestic violence, insinuating an amount of fault lies with the victims in provoking domestic violence. He was suspended for one week and issued a sincere apology. In February of 2015 he signed a multi-year extension with ESPN.
In 2014, former Eagles player and ESPN analyst Hugh Douglas was arrested for assault after choking and violently attacking a woman in a hotel after getting into a fight with the female. According to court documents, Douglas “grabbed her by the neck” and “slammed her into the walls several times.” Douglas told investigators the injuries to the victim occurred during “rough sex” between them. He was charged with 3rd degree assault and 2nd degree strangulation.
Douglas remained with ESPN and was fired in 2013 after a racial altercation with his co-host Michael Smith after an being intoxicated at a black journalists conference in Orlando, Florida, Douglas called Smith an “Uncle Tom” and a “House Nigger” while threatening violence against him because Smith would not let him on stage drunk.
Douglas also had issues previously with racial comments involving quarterback Robert Griffin III asking, “Is he a Brother or a Cornball Brother?” because of his now-marriage to a white woman and being registered as a republican voter.
Former NFL player and ESPN analyst Keyshawn Johnson was arrested in 2014 on charges of domestic violence. He was booked on misdemeanor spousal battery from the incident that left his ex-girlfriend with a gash in her hand.
Jay Crawford & Woody Paige
ESPN stars Jay Crawford & Woody Paige were accused and sued for sexual harassment against makeup artist Rita Ragone who accused the two of groping and propositioning her in 2007. She claims Crawford told her, “I don’t care if you can do makeup or not, the only reason you got the job here is because you’re hot.” One of the men said, “Wanna see what’s in my pants?” according to court documents.
Ragone claimed Crawford & Paige were not the only ones who engaged in sexually charged hijinks backstage. Her lawyer claimed, “Never before had she confronted with such severe physical and verbal sexual harassment that was tolerated and condoned by her supervisors and managers.”
After 14 years with ESPN, Senior VP of Programming and Acquisitions, Len DeLuca, left “to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities.” DeLuca had allegedly had an indiscreet affair for awhile and had been caught by a nighttime security guard enjoying that affair in an office.
In October of 2010 a woman walking her dog noticed a man standing on a stool masturbating while peeking in a window. That man turned out to be senior ESPN producer Neil Goldberg. Goldberg admitted to watching the woman, his neighbor, getting dressed through the window.
He was charged with public indecency, simple trespass, disorderly conduct and breach of peace.
Jason Jackson was fired from ESPN in 2002 for violating company policy. He admitted to inappropriate sexually fueled comments and emails made and sent to colleagues but denied sexually harassing anyone. He had been with ESPN since 1995.
Nicknamed “the biggest douchebag in the place,” Erik Kuselias sexually harassed a female ESPN employee. When the employee contacted HR about the incident, they informed her it was not the first incident he had and previously had been warned by the company.
At the time Kuselias was married, however his found he was having an affair with ESPN personality Stephanie Bell after hiring an private investigator.
In 2008, Sean’s Salisbury’s contract with ESPN was not renewed in part from showing coworkers pictures he had taken of his penis. Later, after being released from his contract announcing Lingerie Football League games and other shows, ESPN has hired him again as a host of ESPN Radio 97.5, the same show Tom Byrne, who assaulted a cab driver, worked for.
Scott Van Pelt
Is just kind of creepy with how he talks to women and has a bit of a mouth on him.
In 2010, ESPN suspended on-air personality and analyst Tony Kornheiser for two weeks for his very inappropriate comments on air about his colleague Hanna Storm’s outfit, calling it a “Holden Caulfield fantasy,” among other comments.
In his forced apology, Kornheiser stated, “This is sort of what I do, and I’m sorry for it. Not the first time and won’t be the last time, but I apologize for it this time.” We can feel the sincerity.
In 2010, Ron Franklin was fired after calling sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards “sweet baby” in a condescending tone and when she objected, he told her “OK, then listen to me asshole.”
This was not the first incident Franklin had with a female sideline reporter. In 2005 he was also condescending to Holy Rowe, leading the senior coordinating producer for college football at ESPN to state, “It was an inappropriate comment, and we’ve communicated that to Ron. There’s never a reason to say something so mean-spirited. Ron apologized. We dealt with it internally.”
Programming VP David Berson apparently did not mind helping a colleague move up the ranks at ESPN in return for some physical favors during their long-time affair. Business Week once ranked Berson as the 73rd “most influential” people in sports.
ESPN’s Production and Monday Night Football VP Jay Rothman left his wife and four kids temporarily for his fling with sideline reporter Suzy Kolber.
Jed Drake joined ESPN in its first year of operation and currently the Senior VP of Production Innovation.
Allegedly, Drake had relations with his secretary, production assistants, interns and even had to fly across the Atlantic to apologize to apologize to a girls parents after an incident at Wimbledon.
The same Daulerio article shed light on other issues at ESPN.
ESPN baseball analyst Steve Phillips was suspended for a week in 2009 after he admitted to an affair with a production assistant. He began his employment with ESPN after he already admitting to multiple affairs while he was the GM for the Mets including being sued for sexual harassment by a team employee, Rosa Rodriguez which he settled out of court, but this affair turned out to be a bit more than he bargained for.
The assistant, Brooke Hundley, began stalking his wife and children in a variety of ways which Phillips described as “obsessive and delusional” after he dumped her. You can listen to the frantic 9-1-1 call from his wife Marni Phillips after Hundley smashed her car into a stone column while speeding away from the Phillips home after leaving a letter for Marni Phillips disclosing their relationship and some very private details.
We aren’t going to get into all the intimate details of the affair or the obvious issues Phillips has with women and affairs, but it becomes more disturbing when you allow it to spill over to affecting your children with a woman trying to stalk them by phone and online.
In 2011 ESPN announced they were eliminating an entire department resulting in Keith Clinkscales, ESPN’s senior vice president for content, development and enterprise, left the company to become an independent producer.
According to claims made by the spouse of an upper level executive at ESPN, it was really dissolved just to get rid of Clinkscales who had transgressions including masturbating on a plane in front of sideline reporter Erin Andrews. According to the claim, top-level ESPN personnel knew of the incidents and kept them quiet.
Andrews had been the victim of a peeping tom in 2008 and reportedly spoke to several people about the incident, but “just wanted it to go away” and never went to HR.
Clinkscales denied the claims and Erin Andrews moved on to FOX Sports moths later.
We told you we would discuss him more. In 1992 on a break, he gets a little flirty with Rebecca, is seen checking out her backside and even throws in a little Japanese impression. Classy.
When meeting VP Lee Ann Daly for the first time, she recalls he was so friendly, recalling Keith Olbermann not being the only cranky anchor at the network:
I was introduced to Chris Berman, and my title was mentioned. He was like, “Oh, god******, do we need another vice president?” And I just said, “Nice to meet you too, Mr. Berman.” …there was really no need to be a jerk. But that kind of stuck with me. I noticed Chris Berman was rarely happy. He was always very difficult to please.
We had heard rumors Dr. Lou was not the sweet lovable grandfatherly man all the time as he presents on television and can be a real jerk sometimes. Well, it turns out to be true if Lou has to waste four minutes of his precious time and isn’t afraid to take out his frustration on intern Christin Wilson just doing her job, enough so to make her cry, yet he can still finish the interview with that cheerful smile we know him for.
We all know quarterback Peyton Manning and he obviously does not work for ESPN. This is only here because Seth Markman, a senior coordinating producer for ESPN’s NFL coverage who was responsible for the hiring of Ray Lewis, claims he keeps a list of active players he’s interested in hiring and Peyton Manning makes the list.
Many like to compare Jameis Winston to Peyton Manning as one player doing things the wrong way and the other (Manning) doing things the right way and not having any off the field issues. In fact, more accurately it should be said, players like Manning came around before social media, the modern era of internet news and the incredible amount of sensationalism and media witch hunts to drive clicks and views.
Peyton Manning himself was involved in a sexual misconduct incident during his collegiate years at the University of Tennessee. Manning allegedly dropped his pants during an injury examination and placed his buttocks and private parts on the face of a female trainer during his junior year with the Volunteers. The trainer won a settlement after immediately taking her complaint to the university and leaving her position.
Then in 2000 Manning published a book talking about the incident and stating the trainer “had a vulgar mouth” and should have “shrugged it off.” At the time, the former Volunteer trainer was working for another college when copies of the portion of the book made its away around the campus, leading to a demotion where she was currently employed.
This violated the defamation agreement stemming from the earlier suit and Manning faced another lawsuit from the incident. The lawsuit was settled in 2003 and the incident was supposed to never be addressed publicly. Then later in 2005 Manning made remarks on television leading to more legal action.
Peyton Manning caused the issue with an immature crude act, but instead of letting it just go away, it continued to come back up based on his own actions.
Tom Byrne worked for ESPN 97.5 The Fanatic and in 2012 he attempted to get away from a cab ride without paying. When the driver demanded his money, Byrne assaulted the victim. He was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment of another person, robbery and theft of services.
And we make our way back to Mr. Lewis. In January of 2000, following a Super Bowl party, a fight broke out between Lewis and his companions with another group of men which resulted in the stabbing deaths of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar.
Lewis and his two companions were all indicted on murder and aggravated-assault charges. The white suit Lewis was wearing that night was never found and the blood of Jacinth Baker was found in Lewis’ limousine.
The attorneys for Lewis negotiated a plea agreement where the murder charges were dismissed in exchange for his testimony against his co-defendants and guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice since he disposed of the suit he had been wearing which was allegedly covered in blood and possibly a key piece of evidence and admitted to not be truthful with police following the incident, initially denying being at the scene at all. He was sentenced to 12 months probation and fined $250,000 by the NFL which was the highest fine ever levied on an NFL player for an infraction not involving substance abuse for “unlawful obstruction related to a very serious occurrence.”
Nobody has ever served prison time for the double murder and Ray Lewis continues his work as an NFL contributor with ESPN.
In 1986, after losing the AFC divisional playoff game to the Patriots, Millen involved himself in an on-field dispute, punching the son of the Patriots GM in the face requiring stitches. Millen called it “a good hit.” Good example to set for our youth.
Women of ESPN
During one of the scariest moments in the history of Florida State University when a shooter opened fire in the school library, ESPNU Campus Connection Correspondent from the University of Alabama, Marisa Martin, made very inappropriate tweets about FSU quarterback Jameis Winston, stating, “Reported gunman on the FSU campus. Maybe he is heading for Jameis.”
It is sad to see such a thing said by an aspiring reporter and showing her clear bias and inability to remain objective when covering a story and letting her opinions despite the facts cloud her judgement, much like we see from professional reporters constantly involving Winston.
Seeing such a tweet is during a crisis emergency is chilling. Even worse, she doesn’t just own it and apologize for the comments.
Even worse, the official twitter for the University of Alabama ESPNU Campus Connection goes on to try and cover up for the mistake with obvious lies about Martin’s actions. Yes, we found it a bit funny as well the twitter for aspiring broadcasters misspelled “correspondents” on their twitter page.
Obviously fans didn’t really buy someone would hack her account and make those kinds of comments.
Almost believable with all the “honest to god” talk. Coincidentally, the AL Campus Connection twitter has been inactive since those events. One thing they forgot during the cover up tweets was this was not the first time Martin tweeted about Winston. From her personal twitter account @MarisaLeeMartin she tweeted about him to ESPN’s SportsCenter back in December of 2013.
The Campus Connection investigation must not have turned up much. I’m sure they made a concentrated effort on the “hacking” Martin was a victim of. She has since returned to her personal account and still aspiring to be a sports broadcaster.
We understand Marisa Martin is not actually an ESPN employee, but she is still an “associate” of the company and that’s what matters. She represents them continually in her broadcasts with the ESPN name all around her. We will certainly keep her in mind if she finally becomes a full time employee for ESPN.
Senior VP of Marketing for ESPN reportedly slept her way up the ladder at ESPN, particularly with ESPN’s Programming VP, David Berson; mentioned earlier. This certainly sets a great example for all the young ladies out there everywhere.
Michelle Beadle joined ESPN in 2009 and has been one of the most vocal critics of Jameis Winston and the Tallahassee Police Department has never been shy about sharing her opinion on the sexual assault situation involving the Heisman winner although she has never been able to provide anything substantial to back up her claims of impropriety by Florida State or TPD.
We wanted to point out what a great role model Michelle Beadle is (sarcasm). As if it wasn’t bad enough to set an example for youth or aspiring broadcasters to assume guilt regardless of the evidence and facts to the contrary, she also sets examples for young girls that they too can have a successful broadcasting career if they can wear enough skirts showing off their legs and have a father help jump-start their careers. You know, just in case merit isn’t enough.
We’ll just ignore details with the reports of her getting fueled up on drugs and alcohol partying it up and rumors of soliciting Aaron Rodgers as well as her denial of her time spent with Clay Matthews and sticking with the story of her only encounter being just sitting on a coach with him for a little while before he was pulled away by someone else even though video surfaced their encounter went a little further than that. Not that any of it matters, but no need to lie about it. More great examples set for young ladies everywhere I’m sure. We certainly will not be promoting her as a role model.
It is impossible not to find the humor of Beadle being critical of Winston’s time with a cleatchaser when she seems to be one herself and could merely make an accusation and ruin their career. She sure can pick ’em with that drunken Matt Barnaby guy.
Just last month, this innocent looking Stetson grad verbally abused a tow lot employee, letting her know exactly what she thought of her appearance, job and level of education which she felt she was entitled to given her looks, level of education and the status of her job on television.
McHenry returned to ESPN after being suspended for a week after the insulting remarks.
Another classy young lady who ESPN suspended for her comments which included “F#ck Notre Dame… F#ck Touchdown Jesus… F#ck Jesus.” back in 2008 during a drunken rant. It’s not like Catholics make up any large percentage of the religious population or anything (sarcasm).
ESPN anchor and writer Jemele Hill was suspended in 2008 for her comments referencing Adolf Hitler when talking about the Celtics. Then in 2009 she was reprimanded again for comparing the Kentucky basketball team to Charles Manson.
ESPN knows viewers have a short memory and has since promoted her to having her own show with Micheal Smith called His and Hers.
After listening to her show it is not surprising she has to reduce to such controversial commentary to increase clicks, but is just ironic given how she always seems to be so outspoken on racial and gender social issues.
In 2007, ESPN E:60 member Lisa Salters, when discussing the sport of Parkour stated, “This sounds like the silliest non-sport I have ever heard of…It’s not a real sport, this is something white people do! How many black people parkour? None! There are some things that are intrinsically not interesting to us as a people. This is one of them.”
Her racially insensitive remarks did not go over well. Apparently a sport is defined by how much black people like them based on her words. Salters may be surprised to learn, parkour is a decedent of freerunning. One of the founders of freerunning, Sebastien Foucan, is black and has opened up the door for his acting career. You may remember him from movies like The Tournament or Casino Royale.
Great role models all you ladies are.
So what we have learned from these sweet young ladies “associated” with ESPN? Apparently you can talk however you want, offend an entire religion if you want, be racially insensitive, talk to people you deem to be beneath you however you want, hope to have a connected daddy and set of legs to jump-start your career, sleep your way to the top and a school shooting is an appropriate time to share your opinions on someone you do not like.
That is all well and good, but if you are a woman with a serious and very sensitive medical condition at ESPN which you have suffered with for over 25 years, you will be suspended and then fired when an episode arises. Really classy ESPN.
Speaking of Skip Bayless who has an endless love affair with Tim Tebow (and he has shown exactly how good he is at predicting NFL success with this one), some may remember his classy move of speculating Troy Aikman might be gay. Classy association there.
Speaking of “gay” talk, in 2007, ESPNU commentator Brian Kinchen was suspended after making a comment during a game between Iowa and Northern Illinois after a comment about using your tender hands to “caress the ball” saying of the comment, “that’s kinda gay, but hey.”
Yes, we come back around to Matt Millen. In 2003, following a game between the Lions and Chiefs, Millen shouted, “You faggot! Yeah, you heard me. You faggot!” to Chiefs wide receiver Johnnie Morton who had previously played for the Lions.
He did not stop his political incorrectness there. In 2010, Millen referred to fellow ESPN commentator Ron Jaworski as a “Polack” on the air when talking about fried bologna sandwiches stating, “Ask any polack from Buffalo how they like them, right Jaws?”
Millen is currently a college football analyst for ESPN, although his “expertise” is usually laughed at and dismissed. Needless to say, he didn’t have many fans in Detroit either.
In 2010, ESPN’s Mike Greenberg on live television slipped up on Martin Luther “Coon” Day.
If you listen to Colin Cowherd long enough you will detect his elitist attitude and will eventually contradict himself and even try backtracking from original comments. After the murder of Sean Taylor in 2007, Cowherd made the comment claiming Taylor’s past had brought the murder upon himself and Washington Redskins fans who mourned him were not “grown ups.”
Giving in to such bias and racial stereotypes enraged listeners who called his comments “appalling” and indecent” in phone calls and emails. As it turned out, the murder was the result of a botched robbery with the robbers not knowing Taylor was home at the time. Taylor, who had gone to great lengths to change his life for the better, was merely a victim, bringing nothing on himself.
The incident resulted in an Outside the Lines segment in which Dan Le Batard voiced his disgust and saying that is what happens when the media is faced with “a lot of airtime and few facts, we end up cloaking gossip in journalism. We get on our soapbox and say we’re doing journalism. Oh no, we’re not. We’re speculating. … What’s the girlfriend’s role in this? … And it’s not fair.”
The simple solution urged by OTL panelist Shaun Powell of Newsday was, “to wait for facts.”
Something apparently most of these “journalists” never learned from this Sean Taylor incident with the way they have reported the Jameis Winston story in spite of so many facts.
In 2003 ESPN was forced to fire Gregg Easterbrook after his antisemitic comments. He was rehired in 2006.
After some very insensitive comments following the Haiti earthquake in 2010, ESPN cut ties with Paul Shirley after he made comments suggesting he would not give relief donations for the same reason he doesn’t give them to the homeless men on the street because he didn’t believe they would do anything constructive with the relieve funds. In his piece, he starts it with the statement, “I do not know if what I’m about to write makes me a monster.” Anytime you start something like that, odds are it probably will not end well.
In 2012, after already having previous controversies in 2008, Rob Parker of ESPN’s First Take, made controversial comments about Robert Griffin III after RGIII said being an African-American was not all he wanted to be defined by. Much like Hugh Douglas, this prompted Parker to ask, “Is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother?”
This resulted in Parker’s suspension and eventual firing.
In 2009 during the broadcast of the Ohio State University game against the University of Minnesota, when discussing NASCAR drivers, when Griese mentioned Colombian driver Juan Pablo Montoya, he commented with, “He’s out having a taco.” He provided a very heartfelt (sarcasm) apology at the end of the broadcast for the insensitive remark.
Other Incidents with “Associates” of ESPN
John P. Duffy
In 2007, ESPN Radio 1250 sports announcer and weekend news anchor John P. Duffy, was arrested and faced child pornography charges after hundreds of video and picture files were found on his computers. The ESPN Radio studios where Duffy worked were located right next door to the Radio Disney studios of AM 540. Duffy plead guilty to the charges.
In 1997, anchor Gary Miller was arrested and charged with urinating out of a Cleveland nightclub after covering the Oriele-Indian series for ESPN. He was charged with public indecency, aggravated disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He settled with a no contest plea to disorderly conduct and returned to work for ESPN for about another 10 years.
Remember this guy we already discussed with all the drug use? He was also arrested for possession of child pornography at the same time. The arrest warrant stated he sent an undercover officer 17 pictures of a toddler, two videos of a toddler and one video of an 8-year-old girl.
He received a five year concurrent sentence after pleading guilty to two counts of promoting child pornography. He set to be released this year. Not the classiest person to be “associated” with.
Antonio Pierce, the cool guy who was “associated” with Plaxico Burress when he shot himself in an incident which landed him in prison for two years, was accused in 2008 of neglecting his dogs. He and his girlfriend admitted to dog abuse and both fined and court ordered to give away their dogs.
The admitted dog abuser is still employed by ESPN. Maybe Michael Vick wrote him a letter of recommendation before going to prison. Nice “associate” for ESPN to have.
Craig James was one of the athletes involved in the pay for play scandal at SMU leading to the death penalty punishment by the NCAA. It was even part of an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary titled Pony Exce$$ and yet ESPN had no issue hiring James and being “associated” with him and he was even critical of what players did off the field during his broadcasts which was very hypocritical, but not surprising.
James also used his influence and notoriety as a television broadcaster to badmouth and eventual firing of Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach.
Reidel Anthony & Sterling Sharpe
ESPN had no issue hiring Reidel Anthony or Sterling Sharpe to be writers, analysts, contributors and commentators. Some may remember these players for their involvement with the Tank Black scandal while in college. Sharpe was one of Black’s marquee clients. He signed a record number of players by enticing them while still in school with jewelry, stereo equipment, cash, prostitutes and cars in hopes of representing them once they turned professional.
Black’s crimes involved ponzi schemes, money laundering, drugs and fraud among other crimes. He pleaded guilty to providing cash loans to college players in Florida and sentenced to 82 months in prison and millions in restitution.
Surprising they would consider hiring anyone with such an “associate” off the field as those guys had.
In 2010, ESPN Anchor Will Selva was suspended for plagiarism. You talk about sports. Is it that hard to come up with original material?
Urban Meyer & Tim Tebow
It’s not often you get to hire someone you can say enabled a serial killer, but that is pretty much ESPN could say not once, but twice, after the hiring of former University of Florida coach Urban Meyer and quarterback Tim Tebow.
Urban Meyer’s hypocrisy reached a comedic level when he was taking a break from coaching and filling his time with ESPN and talked about the off the field issues in college athletics and was critical of other programs while bragging about his own time at Florida. It was funny because we can find no other coach in history having more of an arrest and off the field issue with players than Meyer did in Gainesville which we have previously documented. Had Meyer done anything to intervene after the multiple failed drug tests or the 2007 shooting by Hernandez, maybe others would be alive today.
All we heard from Skip Bayless and others was how great Tim Tebow was and how you are a better person for spending just minutes with him, yet he also enabled Aaron Hernandez by trying to pay for his underage drinking and being present when Hernandez assaulted a bar employee which was settled by the university.
Tebow’s roommates included Hernandez, Riley Cooper and Tony Joiner. Every one of them had issues during their time with him. We all know the story of Hernandez. Joiner was the player who faced felony theft after breaking down a fence and stealing a car from an impound lot and of course had his charges dropped. Cooper faced misdemeanor charges while in school, which of course were also dropped and of course we all remember him letting his racism show after his time in Gainesville.
Plenty of great “associates” to go around there.
Almost forgot about coming back to Chris Berman. As if his drug smuggling and flirting weren’t enough (and we didn’t even mention his “leather” story), more of the class he has is caught on camera.
Orel “Bulldog” Hershiser worked for ESPN covering baseball for a number of years. He was almost arrested in the Dominican Republic in the 1980’s when playing winter ball there after an incident with fireworks. Instead of arresting Hershiser, the team manager gave them the team trainer as a compromise since they wanted someone to arrest for the event. Classy move by Hershiser to let someone else take the fall for his actions.
Overall at ESPN
It seems ESPN has created and evolved into quite a culture. Obviously one which would make many moms proud.
Former General Counsel Andy Brilliant:
The company would have Christmas parties up at some horrible place in Bristol. A couple of them were drunken orgies…. It became like a big frat party. There were a lot of drugs being done in the bathroom. There was quite a bit of screwing going on afterward, a lot of it extramarital. But everybody went back to business the next workday.
Andy Brilliant had an ESPN secretary who he thought took a higher-paying job at a law firm. He learned six months later she had actually checked herself into rehab after developing a bad cocaine habit in Bristol. She helped fund her habit by turning tricks in an ESPN-owned apartment in Manhattan. Brilliant said:
She said the mail-room guy was keeping the apartment for these girls, and all these good-looking girls were turning tricks in the apartment. It was going on right under our noses. And the receptionist was a really good-looking girl, and she was blowing FedEx delivery guys in the bathroom after work hours.
Former ESPN CEO Bill Grimes speaking on the New York City apartment ESPN used to keep:
I remember an ESPN exec coming in and saying, “We gotta get rid of this apartment …because the mail boys got a couple of our secretaries hooking over there.” Hooking! That’s what he said… “They’re making money after work when no one’s there. It’s getting out of control.
Reporter Sal Marchiano recalled:
There was screwing in the hallways. Okay, maybe not in the hallways, but there were a couple of stairwell stories… there were drugs in the building, that I knew. There was one guy who dealt pot.
NBC’s Dick Ebersol on ESPN, more accurately their ability to get away with murder:
ESPN basically has to have one of their talent talk about Hitler or put a picture of their d!ck on a phone — which is what that Salisbury guy did — before they’ll do anything about any of these various crazies because they don’t have to. Nobody can touch them.
Former ESPN vice president John Lack on the firing Steve Phillips:
ESPN suspending Steve Phillips as a commentator because he’s a married man having an affair with an employee is like going to Harlem and saying we’re going to arrest all the black men who cross the street.
Former ESPN chairman Steve Bornstein says:
I think part of the sexual harassment stuff was location. It’s one hundred miles from real civilization, and you got the kind of testosterone, jock mentality, frat house approach that’s pretty much a recipe for stupid decisions being made.
Sexual harassment has been an ongoing issue at ESPN. In the late 1980’s the problem became so bad anchor Karie Ross stood up in the cafeteria in front of 200 or more people and demanded that it stop. This came after men gathered around her on her first day of work to gauge her reaction of them watching the Playboy Channel on a monitor above her head. She saw men propositioning women for dates in exchange for editing-room time. Allegedly there was relentless groping and cajoling, leading her to speak out against it, only to not have her contract renewed.
Chris Berman even acknowledged there was an issue. Ross’ plea did not have much of an impact according to the authors of Those Guys Have All the Fun:
No fewer thaFormer ESPN vice president John Lack on the firingn fifty cases of sexual harassment were reported by women on the staff to ESPN management in the first half of the 1990’s.
These and more are all “associates” of ESPN.
We are sure this type of behavior happens in a lot of companies. Probably not to the extent it does at ESPN given the nature of their content and many of their employees being former athletes, but they are probably not so frequently described as a big frat house. What’s more, those companies do not show the same hypocrisy while discussing the lives of 17-23 year-old athletes, many of which made mistakes just as bad or worse than the very players they are criticizing.
There is so much to go over, even as long as this piece is, we still could not pack it all in. There are still incidents of wishing an assassination on someone, an insensitive comment towards Mormons and much more.
It is quite the hypocrisy ESPN representatives continue to question whether anyone with off the field issues is worth taking the risk on, while they employ former athlete one after another like Keyshawn Johnson, Ray Lewis, Michael Irvin, Jalen Rose, Mark May, Antonio Pierce, Craig James, Hugh Douglas, Chris Carter and others they must believe are all worth picking even if they’ve had issues off the field.
With the draft on today and Jameis Winston likely to be the first player taken, we do not expect the hypocrisy to slow down much. Maybe next time anyone at ESPN talks about anyone off the field or who anyone is “associated” with, they should start by looking in the mirror first.