Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Things That Make You Go…


Evidently, there are still some older men in the sports broadcasting field that simply don’t get it. Hey, guys, wake up and smell the internet, it’s 2011…

The latest to fall victim to his own stupidity is ESPN’s Ron Franklin, most recently heard in the Chik-Fil-A Bowl when Florida State beat South Carolina.

According to Edwards, the trouble started before Friday's game during a production meeting that was also attended by ESPN announcers Rod Gilmore and Ed Cunningham.

Edwards says she was talking with Gilmore about his wife being elected mayor of Alameda, California. After a few minutes, she said Franklin joined in the conversation and said, "Listen to me sweet baby, let me tell you something..." with a condescending tone.

Edwards says she told Franklin not to address her like that. To which Franklin said, according to Edwards: "OK, then listen to me a-hole."

She said she told Franklin she didn't appreciate his attitude -- and asked why he was stooping to such levels. Florida Sate head coach Jimbo Fisher then arrived and they proceeded with the meeting. Edwards and Franklin both worked the game.

Afterwards, a colleague reported the incident to ESPN management. ESPN then tried to pull Franklin from the Chick Fil-A coverage that night but didn't have enough time. With the duo scheduled to work together again Saturday night, ESPN decided to pull Franklin from its Fiesta Bowl radio coverage.

Franklin had been a previous offender of company policy, referring to reporter Holly Rowe as "sweetheart" on air in 2005. He was disciplined internally then, but his stock has fallen steadily, including being supplanted as the lead Saturday night college football television announcer.

The network fired Franklin on Tuesday.

Edwards is no shrinking violet. A New Jersey native, Edwards spent almost 10 years on the racetrack as an exercise rider, apprentice jockey, and trainer in New York and New Jersey before initially getting into television in 1994 as an in-house TV host at racetracks in Maryland – hardly a female friendly work environment. She was not a good candidate to take Franklin's insults lightly...

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