Longtime ESPN announcer Ron Franklin and sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards probably won’t be sharing the airwaves again anytime soon.
The sports network pulled Franklin from the Jan. 1 Saturday Fiesta Bowl radio broadcast after directing a sexist remark at his colleague.
Sports by Brooks reports that Franklin and Edwards were joined in a production meeting by fellow ESPN announcers Ed Cunningham and Rod Gilmore. When the subject of Gilmore’s wife being elected as Alameda, CA mayor was brought up, things got ugly.
Edwards, the token female of the group, chimed in to the conversation and Franklin replied in kind with: “Why don’t you leave this to the boys, sweetcakes.”
Remaining calm, she responded “don’t call me sweetcakes, I don’t like being talked to like that.”
Franklin’s answer? “Okay then, a-hole.” What a classy dude.
ESPN execs attempted to pull Franklin from that day’s Chick-fil-A Bowl show (Friday Dec. 31) but due to the last minute notice, could not find a replacement. They were able to replace him for the Jan. 1 Fiesta Bowl radio broadcast, on which he had been scheduled to work with Edwards.
This isn’t Franklin’s first inappropriate remark, as he disparagingly addressed sideline reporter Holly Rowe as “sweetheart” during a broadcast in October. He reportedly apologized and the issue was dealt with internally.
A rep for ESPN has not (technically) commented on his status with the company, but spokesman Josh Krulewitz says, “We’re not going to get into specifics other than to say adhering to our personal conduct policies and showing respect for colleagues are of the utmost importance to our company and we take them extremely seriously.”