Former Fox Sports Florida sideline reporter Emily Austen may have effectively killed her media career with several racist comments made during an appearance on a Barstool Sports Facebook Live video in June 2016. Austen was fired by Fox Sports Florida and Sports Illustrated‘s Richard Deitsch polled several people involved in sports media — executives, agents, PR reps, and on-air personalities — who all thought that it would be difficult for her to find work again.

Virtually everyone Deitsch talked to felt that a sincere apology from Austen was key into salvaging her career. Unfortunately, her attempt at an apology didn’t really take responsibility for her comments and even showed a lack of awareness regarding what consequences she was sure to suffer as a result.

More than a year later, Austen appeared on the Sports Spectrum podcast with former ESPN producer Jason Romano. The show focuses on the intersection between sports and faith in our culture, and her conversation with Romano addressed her firing, what she’s been doing since then and what role her faith has played in that process. Austen has been speaking to athletes at programs such as Alabama and Florida State about the hazards of social media, and how saying the wrong thing can adversely affect someone’s reputation and career.

“It was taken away so fast and I deserved to be fired,” Austen said on the podcast. “Don’t get that confused. I deserved these consequences. People should have to consequences for their mistakes and decisions. That is part of life.

“Losing my career was not the worst part of this. Not the hardest part. The worst part of this was being painted as this monster on social media, this evil person and understanding that my words hurt so many people and not having the power to take them back.”

Whether or not Austen will be able to rehabilitate her career remains to be seen. But that also may be besides the point. Even if being hired again in media is not an option, maybe she’s found a new career in trying to counsel those against making the same mistakes she did.

You can listen to Austen’s conversation with Romano at the Sports Spectrum site, and it’s also available on iTunes.

[Sports Illustrated]

About Ian Casselberry

Ian is an editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has covered baseball for Yahoo! Sports,, Bleacher Report and SB Nation, and provides analysis for several sports talk radio shows each week. He currently lives in Asheville, NC.

  • thewatcher2

    I give her props for owning it. Britt McHenry can learn a lot from her!

    • StoJa

      Not sure Britt McHenry has the capacity to learn, period.

  • common_sense_is

    But the writers at Awful Announcing think it’s perfectly fine that Jamel Hill called Trump a white supremist.

    • Dale Moog

      Because Hill is a black non religious Liberal from Detroit and Autsten is a White Christian with conservative leanings from the south. Of course the DOUBLE standard applies. If anyone thinks different they are denying the truth. White Christian Conservatives are easy targets and get way more negative press than any other group.

      • Christopher Bates

        Yes, because if there’s one group that hasn’t gotten a fair shake in this country, it’s white Christian conservatives.

        • Bryan Smith

          Ok, she messed up. She apologized. Austen deserves a second chance. She just made a dumb comment. Other people have done worse.
          Marv Albert pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and battery charges. He got a second chance. Why shouldn’t Austen? There is a double standard.

    • PeteF3

      One person impugned one man and the other impugned an entire religious and ethnic class of people.

      • common_sense_is

        Hill impugned Trump and everyone white person that voted for him. She called more than just Trump a white supremacist.

        • PeteF3

          Hey, if the shoe fits…

    • Shawn Diiorio

      If you had an anonymous poll, anywhere in America, that asked if Trump was a white supremacist? A good percent would probably say yes.

      • common_sense_is

        As large a percentage of people would also think Obama is a black supremacist. But if anyone dared to call him that, the media would try to destroy that person, this site included.

        • Dale Moog

          Amen, Obama was a huge Black activist

      • noonan18

        I think your “good percent” comment is a little off.

    • Christopher Bates

      Mr. “common sense” can’t spell ‘Jemele,’ can’t spell ‘supremacist,’ and thinks that these two situations are remotely comparable.

      In particular, note that ‘white supremacist’ is not a racial slur. If Jemele Hill had called Trump a ‘honkey’ or a ‘cracker,’ then you might be in the same ballpark, at least.

  • bduddy

    I love how “social media” is always the problem. Millions and millions of people could go on any number of social media sites and not say racist things.

  • Adam Domo

    she sounds like she gets it.