SBD/January 20, 2011/Media

Ron Franklin Files Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Against ESPN

Franklin's suit alleges breach of contract by ESPN, seeks unspecified damages
Former ESPN announcer Ron Franklin yesterday confirmed that he has filed a "wrongful termination" lawsuit against the network after being fired for comments he made to sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards, according to Michael McCarthy of USA TODAY. The suit was filed in the announcer's home city of Austin, Texas. Franklin, who worked for ESPN for 25 years, "declined to comment on how much he's seeking in damages or details of the lawsuit" (USATODAY.com, 1/19). The lawsuit states the "brief and innocuous personal conversation" between Franklin and Edwards "in no way constituted a 'failure to fully perform.'" The suit also claims "ESPN and ABC disseminated false and inflated versions of the events" (STATESMAN.com, 1/18). The suit, filed on behalf of Franklin's company, Ron Franklin Productions, seeks "unspecified damages and alleges breach of contract." It alleges that Franklin's comments to Edwards "did not warrant dismissal because they did not violate the failure to perform clause of his contract." The suit contends that that clause "lists lack of preparation and acts of 'moral turpitude' and acts that would result in 'public humiliation to ESPN' as grounds for dismissal." In response to the lawsuit, ESPN VP/PR Josh Krulewitz said, "We are confident that the action we took was appropriate" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/20).
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