(Photo by Joe Faraoni / ESPN)

Wow.  I did not expect to see this coming…

In the wake of his controversial remarks about Dominican baseball players on his Thursday radio program, ESPN has taken Colin Cowherd off the air.  Cowherd had announced he was leaving ESPN at the end of his current contract, but there was still believed to be at least a few months left on the deal.

And unlike Bill Simmons, who has not made any ESPN appearances since ESPN President John Skipper announced the network was not re-signing him, Cowherd was carrying on with business as usual for the foreseeable future.  (John Ourand reported his last day was supposed to be next Friday.)

Until now, that is.

It’s maybe just a little ironic that after years of insulating Cowherd from any and every criticism and standing by him through a number of controversies that now the network decides to kick him out the door on his way out.  It may be the right decision, but it’s taking the easy way out after enabling just this kind of behavior from Cowherd for years.

Cowherd offered a real apology on Twitter instead of the sanctimonious “clarification” he issued on his Friday show.  It reads remarkably similar to Hulk Hogan’s apology from earlier in the day.

Cowherd’s deal with Fox Sports still hasn’t been announced yet publicly, but this decision by ESPN really puts a damper on whatever public rollout is to come.  And it means Cowherd will start at Fox Sports still under the cloud of this mess of his own making.  This controversy has blown up so fast, with a de facto suspension from ESPN and public condemnation from MLB and the MLBPA, it’s fair to wonder what kind of impact it may have on Cowherd’s future at Fox.

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