This was going to happen sooner or later. ESPN announced today that it fired announcer Ron Franklin after his controversial comments to sideline Jeannine Edwards in a production meeting. While Franklin’s initial punishment was being removed from ESPN Radio’s coverage of the Fiesta Bowl, it was clear that Franklin was likely going to be fired once the media pressure started moving against him. The AP report is short and only offers a brief statement:
ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys said Tuesday that “based on what occurred last Friday, we have ended our relationship with him.”
Brian Kenny read a brief statement on Sportscenter that was equally sort and terse. Franklin had been working at ESPN since 1987, but his career comes to an end in this lowbrow and embarrassing manner. This isn’t the first time Franklin has been in trouble for acting like a good ol’ boy (he referred to Holly Rowe as “sweetheart” during a game a few years ago), so his firing is no surprise. I always thought Franklin was an underrated play-by-play man and enjoyed his work, especially with Big XII basketball. He was a good broadcaster that you could associate with college sports. But, the last thing ESPN needs is another person enhancing their ugly, frat boy image (see Steve Phillips, the Deadpsin reports, and that little book coming out). This is the move that had to be made – it’s tough enough for women working in sports journalism without idiots like Franklin stuck in the 1930s.