SBD/January 7, 2011/Media

Franklin Not Talking About Dismissal, But Happy For Support

Former ESPN announcer Ron Franklin Thursday said he is not going to respond to his dismissal from the network and will "continue to take the high road," according to Richard Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES. Franklin was fired for making "condescending remarks" to sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards prior to the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Dec. 31. Franklin in an e-mail earlier this week said, "The most important thing to me at the moment (and surprising) is since 4 p.m. yesterday we have received over 500 e-mails and phone calls nearing the 300 mark. ... Heartwarming indeed." He noted that "coaches, athletic directors, officials, friends and strangers had left him messages." More Franklin: "I just want this thing to end so we can have our lives back." Sandomir noted ESPN has indicated that it "was adhering to its personal conduct policy" in cutting ties with Franklin (NYTIMES.com, 1/6).

PUNISHMENT FIT THE CRIME? In Orlando, Shannon Owens wrote ESPN's initial discipline of Franklin, which included taking him off the radio broadcast of the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, "was enough," and the firing seems to be the "standard knee-jerk reaction these days to public opinion." Owens: "That being said, I don't have much sympathy for Franklin either. He's a seasoned professional and should have known better than to engage in inappropriate communication" (ORLANDOSENTINEL.com, 1/5). In St. Petersburg, Tom Jones wrote, "It's a bit disconcerting that it took ESPN four days to fire Franklin for an incident that everyone, including Franklin, admits happened. But better late than never" (TAMPABAY.com, 1/5). In Jacksonville, Francine King wrote ESPN "made the right call" to end its relationship with Franklin. His dismissal was "well deserved, and it’s gratifying as a female sports journalist that ESPN wasn’t afraid to hand it out" (JACKSONVILLE.com, 1/6). In L.A., Diane Pucin: "There's no getting around it. Franklin had to go. But maybe it's time for someone else at ESPN to lose a job because Franklin, who was guilty at least twice of being a jerk to a female colleague, hasn't been the only one. Reference Tony Kornheiser, Steve Phillips, Harold Reynolds" (LATIMES.com, 1/5).

TREATMENT OF WOMEN A PROBLEM: NBC sideline reporter Andrea Kremer said, "The vitriol that is spewed forth about women, women in sports TV, female sideline reporters is just so out of control." She added, "It always boils down to: Why are there women sideline reporters? What do they really do? Inane questions that are so antiquated, so passé. It's not what it's about. ... The focus always gets off the performance and contributions that we bring. I don't understand that. People are assailing Jeannine Edwards. Why?" (USA TODAY, 1/7).

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