ESPN Cleveland reporter Tony Grossi was suspended indefinitely by the network for derogatory comments he made about Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield which were caught on a hot mic at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Grossi was involved in discussions about who the Browns could have had under center before saying the team is stuck with “that f*cking midget” Mayfield.
ESPN immediately reprimanded Grossi for his comments.
“We are aware of Tony Grossi’s statement about Baker Mayfield. The term Tony used is a derogatory slur to describe Little People. Good Karma Brands will not tolerate derogatory language that demeans others or groups of people,” ESPN Cleveland said in a statement. “We are addressing this matter with Tony directly, and while we normally do not comment on personnel matters, we do want to share that we have made the decision to immediately and indefinitely suspend Tony Grossi. In addition, we will pursue sensitivity and inclusion training for everyone on our content teams across our company.”
Now, Grossi is predictably issuing an apology.
— Tony Grossi (@TonyGrossi) February 25, 2020
“I am truly sorry for my language and choice of words in a remark I made about Baker Mayfield that was captured on our live feed on TheLandOnDemand,” Grossi wrote. “I sincerely apologize for using a word that is a derogatory slur. There’s no excuse for using that language in any context. It was said without malice but also without thought. It is well known that Baker and I have had our differences, and in the course of this experience, I’ve had to question my role in the erosion of the relationship.”
Grossi and Mayfield have a history of public beef, including Mayfield lashing out and walking away from a media session after being unhappy with a question from the reporter. It doesn’t look like they will be mending their relationship anytime soon.