We are in an unprecedented run of suspensions for ESPN on-air personnel. All within perhaps the slowest period for sports activity of the year.
The New York Daily News is reporting that SportsNation co-host Max Kellerman has been suspended by the network for inappropriate comments with regard to domestic violence. An ESPN spokesman (who would not on the record call Kellerman’s time off/sabbatical a suspension) told the paper “Max Kellerman will return to ESPNLA Radio and SportsNation on Thursday.” Kellerman hosts a radio show in the LA market in addition to his television duties.
The suspension comes from Kellerman saying on the show that leads in to his on ESPN Radio LA that he had hit his wife when they attended a college party. The Daily News rounds up the rest of the story:
Kellerman said they both had too much to drink. He said when he tried getting things under control his then girlfriend slapped him. Kellerman said he slapped her back. He was quick to tell listeners that the woman is now is his wife and they have been happily married for 20 years.
This is a massive can of worms to open to even begin to get into whether or not Kellerman is deserving of a suspension. If the story relates to Ray Rice’s situation, is Kellerman speaking from his own (albeit horrifying) experience not relevant to the conversation? On the other hand, one could argue that everyone is sick and tired of this issue altogether and ESPN is none too happy to hear one of its anchors, on its owned-and-operated radio station, discuss on a sports show how he got drunk and hit his girlfriend 20 years ago. Especially considering Kellerman’s co-host, Michelle Beadle, has found her way into this crossfire.
All of this takes place a mere days after the network has suspended Stephen A. Smith (for his own comments on the Ray Rice situation) and Dan Le Betard (for trolling, because those are equal crimes, apparently) on separate occasions. Clearly, these are all isolated incidents, but a very strange time at The Worldwide Leader.