Boomer is the voice you hear during some of the biggest broadcasts on ESPN. He has anchored the SportsCenter as well as Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown just to name a few. But, it wasn’t too long ago that he go caught up in a sexual harassment case.
A makeup artist, Sue Baumann had been working at ESPN for about seven years and covered the Sunday NFL Countdown for a few of those years. She was fired in 2015, so she hired an attorney and filed a sexual harassment suit. In it, she claims that Chris Berman was responsible for “comments allegedly made in the makeup room and text messages going back a few years.” ESPN settled out of court and rumors are flying that Boomer’s contract won’t be renewed after the 2016 football season.
Former all star-pitcher and baseball analyst, Curt Schilling has always had a controversial career. Sometimes, that’s good for ratings. Sometimes, it’s enough to get you fired. This scandal shocked the LGBT community so much, ESPN could not ignore it.
At the center of the scandal is North Carolina’s law barring transgender people from using any bathrooms other than the gender they were born. Curt Schilling decided to tweet, “LET HIM IN! to the restroom with your daughter or else you’re a narrow-minded, judgmental, unloving racist bigot who needs to die.” It accompanied a picture of a man dressed up as a woman.
ESPN quickly published their response, “ESPN is an inclusive company. Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated.”
One of ESPN’s longest tenured anchors, Mike Tricio is definitely a face and a name fans relate to. He has covered The World Cup as well as The NBA Finals. But, his image is far from squeaky clean. In fact, quite the opposite.
He earned himself a bad reputation around female staffers, especially two that he supposedly stalked and sexually harassed. In the first incident, he followed a production assistant around a party and kept telling her how beautiful she was. When she got tired of hearing it or seeing his face, she told him where to go. But, he didn’t take the message. He followed her to her car and even tried to grope her.
In another incident, his behavior with a producer started after she went to dinner with Mike and his fiance. On another occasion at a bar after covering an NCAA tournament, he kept telling the producer how he wished he was single because he wanted to throw her on the table and have sex with her right then and there. He even went so far as to say he knew she wanted to have sex with him too. Having no success with that method, he decided to follow her home and try to get her to pull over on the highway.
Scott Sassa was the president of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication group. He managed the companies interest in ESPN. In 2013, he was forced to resign because of a sexting scam that caught up with him.
A single father of two daughters, he was the perfect target for extortion. He was sexting a stripper based out of L.A., but she was up to no good. She started sending him explicit pictures of herself and promising that they would hookup, all with the help of her boyfriend of course. Then, they informed him that they would release the dirty messages and take the scandal to public if he didn’t pay them money. When he refused, they delivered on their promise and sent the sex-texts to the highest people they could find at Hearst. Once top brass saw what they were dealing with, they insisted he resign.
Yes, ESPN actually hired Rush Limbaugh in 2003 to comment on NFL football. But, that only lasted three weeks. It appears that Rush has a way of opening his mouth and out flies stuff that is probably better left unsaid. Like his comments about Donovan McNabb.
Off the cuff, Rush made statements that McNabb wasn’t doing that well. His defense deserved the credit and the only reason McNabb was getting the credit he didn’t deserve, “I don’t think he’s been that good from the get-go. I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern in the NFL. I think the media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well.”
And like that, Rush was out of there.
Former Major League Baseball second baseman, Harold Reynolds started as a baseball analyst in 2006. But, he didn’t last very long. Only about 5 months into his contract, he was terminated. A spokesperson for ESPN confirmed he, “is no longer with the network.” But why?
There were a few people who work at ESPN and a few who are familiar with the case who whispered that it was related to sexual harassment. Harold called it a misunderstanding when he said, “I gave a woman a hug and I felt like it was misinterpreted.” He filed a lawsuit suing ESPN for wrongful termination. They settled out of court.
The ESPN Frat House
In the 80s, ESPN appears to have been more like a frat house then a professional sports network. The 700+ page book by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales entitled Those Guys Have all the Fun highlights what was going on behind the scenes at the Bristol, CT headquarters. It may very well have set the tone for all the scandal that would follow.
The ESPN Frat House
As New York Post describes it, this new book reveals hookers, coke and Christmas orgies at ESPN. One of the sexiest secretaries in the Manhattan office appeared to be losing her ability to function on the job. When she was asked what her problem was, she admitted that it was her cocaine habit. When asked how she could afforded a cocaine habit on her secretary salary, she further admitted she was being pimped out by guys in the mail room.
That story merely scratches the surface of the amount of smut you’ll find in Those Guys Have all the Fun. If you knew everything that went on at the parties and behind closed doors, you would seriously wonder how the network has managed to stay afloat.
Neil was arrested after a lady called the cops on a peeping Tom. He admitted to watching through the window while she undressed. But, that’s not all he was doing. His charges of Indecent Exposure tell the rest of the story.
One of the more ridiculous stories is when producer Neil Goldberg parted ways with ESPN. He might have looked like a clean cut guy, but he definitely had a dark side. That is especially true when you find out what he was caught doing.
Former senior vice president of content development and enterprises at ESPN, Keith Clinkscales filed a pre-emptive lawsuit against Joan Lynch for telling a story. It hadn’t been published. It was only spoken of at that point, which makes this case that much more interesting.
If you want to keep a scandal from breaking, the best way to do that is to keep it out of the court rooms. Keith did exactly the opposite. It appears that he was seen fondling himself while he sat next to the very beautiful reporter Erin Andrews on an airplane. There’s only one question? Did Joan Lynch leak the story to the press or was it the actions of Keith’s pre-emptive lawsuit that did the damage?
Skip is a totally different case entirely. His scandal is a little bit different than the others. It begins with his yelling and his demeanor while on camera. Some fans love it and some staffers find it abrasive. But, that’s not what this is really about.
Skip has often used his platform to say whatever he pleases. He has been biased toward teams and players, making it very well-known who he likes. He said Eddie Johnson was facing criminal charges when he wasn’t. But the one that tops it all is when he started a rumor that Troy Aikman was gay.
Cold Pizza Makeup Artist
In 2007, hosts Jay Crawford and Woody Paige of “Cold Pizza” came under fire when sexual harassment allegations were made against them. The allegations came out when a former makeup artist decided to sue ESPN. Isn’t that always the case? A former employee might be a former employee for not going along with the program. Of course, a sexual harassment lawsuit is a great way to get back at a company for letting you go. Who knows?
Paul Shirley was cut loose in 2010 following the earthquake that caused massive destruction throughout Haiti. Paul sharply claimed he would not help out with relief efforts for the same reason he would not give money to the homeless. He doubted any good would come of it because Haiti wasn’t in the habit of helping themselves.
With a swipe of the mighty pen, ESPN cut ties with Paul and said his opinions were not a reflection on ESPN’s views.
Steve’s scandal broke when he admitted to having an affair with a 22 year old production assistant. It was splashed across tabloids and the Bristol, CT headquarters received a lot of heat over it. The Baseball analyst had to go. He was fired in 2010.
Stephen A. Smith
When Ray Rice was caught on video beating his wife on an elevator in 2015, ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith had this to say, “let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions, because if I come — or somebody else come, whether it’s law enforcement officials, your brother or the fellas that you know — if we come after somebody has put their hands on you, it doesn’t negate the fact that they already put their hands on you.”
Even though he apologized for making it seem as if women were at fault for getting beat by a man, in July he was suspended for a week from TV and the radio show. Some people supported him and his statements, but many people were appalled prompting ESPN to put out a statement that Smith’s views did not reflect the views held at ESPN. To add fuel to the fire, this particular scandal has so much more to it when Michelle Beadle decides to take her feelings about it to Twitter.
ESPN sports reporter and host Michelle Beadle heard the remarks of Stephen A. Smith and immediately took to Twitter to air out her feelings.
“I’m now aware that I can provoke my own beating.”
An eruption occurred on Twitter from Stephen A. Smith’s supporters who were attacking her every which way from calling her a mouthbreather to hoping someone would beat her and that Smith himself should have a free go at it.. Smith’s supporters felt that it was because of her tweet that he got suspended. One even mentioned that she should have addressed him in person rather than taking it to Twitter.
That might have been true, but the pounding she took from his supporters was pretty ruthless.
@sabrinaysolomon tweeted [email protected] You probably did provoke someone to beat your ass!!! #hatefulbitch”
There are many more, but the attacks on her get much worse than that as she pointed out herself, “But I would recommend you watch this timeline for a bit…for a glimpse into America. I’d share but the ignorance and language is brutal.”
Erin Andrews is admittedly a very beautiful, model-worthy sportscaster for Fox. But, her privacy was violated back in 2008 when she was stalked by Michael David Barrett from Nashville, Tennessee to Columbus, Ohio. In her lawsuit against both her stalker and the Nashville Marriott where the incident occurred, not only was her room number given out giving Barrett the access to stalk her, but he videotaped her through a peephole. Then, he released it for all the internet to see.
Since the scandal broke, her fans have been able to watch her video. They have contacted her through her social media and they’ve even yelled out to her in public. She was completely humiliated and has never been the same since. She doesn’t have the ability to trust anyone as her father told the jury.
Andrews told the jury, “This happens every day of my life. Either I get a tweet or somebody makes a comment in the paper or somebody sends me a still video to my Twitter or someone screams it at me in the stands and I’m right back to this. I feel so embarrassed and I am so ashamed.”
Barrett was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for stalking Andrews and distributing the videos he took through the hotel room peepholes. Andrews was awarded $55 million in total. $26 million fell on the West End Hotel Partners that own the Marriott and $28 million fell on Barrett himself, which he should have a fun time trying to pay that off.
Rob’s scandal begins when RGIII was being asked about being a black quarterback, “For me, you don’t ever want to be defined by the color of your skin. You want to be defined by your work ethic, the person that you are, your character, your personality. That’s what I strive [for]. I am an African American, in America, and that will never change. But I don’t have to be defined by that.”
It escalated quickly from there.
When Rob was asked about RGIIIs statements, he responded, “What does this say about RGIII? This is an interesting topic. For me, personally, just me, this throws up a red flag, what I keep hearing. And I don’t know who’s asking the questions, but we’ve heard a couple of times now of a black guy kind of distancing himself away from black people.”
As Cari Champion and Skip Bayless questioned Rob about his remarks, he just dug himself an even deeper hole making statements like Griffin is “not real. OK, he’s black, he kind of does the thing, but he’s not really down with the cause. He’s not one of us.” And, “We all know he has a white fiancee. There was all this talk about how he’s a Republican, which there’s no information at all.”
Rob didn’t appear on ESPN long after that.