Last month, ESPN Cleveland troll/provacateur Tony Grossi was suspended after a hot mic caught him calling Baker Mayfield a “fucking midget”.
— Liam (@leojokerhart) February 25, 2020
— ESPN Cleveland (@ESPNCleveland) February 25, 2020
Grossi apologized at the time as well. Now, a few weeks later, he’s back, having been reinstated following a few weeks away, which he insists have made him a changed man. That’s from his remarks upon returning to the air, as noted by this Cleveland.com piece by Joey Morona. Grossi says the experience was traumatic for him but that he’s learned a lot.
“It’s great to be back. I’m excited to be back. I got a lot of support from those who matter,” Grossi said upon his return to “The Really Big Show” on 850 WKNR. “A few things I do want to say. This obviously was a situation taken very seriously by our company and by me. For me, it’s been humiliating, it’s been quite traumatic, in fact. But it’s also been a learning experience to me.”
Grossi, who covered the Browns for 30 years at The Plain Dealer prior to joining ESPN Cleveland, continued, “Being on the front lines of what we jokingly call the ’100 Years War’ is a unique experience. It’s not like covering the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Cleveland Indians. It’s certainly not like covering the Steelers or the Packers, teams that have a lot of success and a lot of fun and a lot of joy.
“And I don’t take it lightly, this career that I’ve had, this job that I have here at WKNR and ESPN Cleveland. Occasionally, I have misstepped. This is my fumble. It won’t define me. What will define me is stepping up, learning from it, moving forward and doing the positive things I need to do to show that I’m a better person from it. And that’s what I intend to do,” he said.
There’s a way to read that where Grossi is suggesting the Browns forced Grossi’s hand by being terrible! See, if he got to cover a consistently good team, he’d be nothing but effusive in his praise, and wouldn’t be driven to things like, say, antagonizing Mayfield to the point he bails from a media scrum, or using a derogatory term on-air. That’s definitely the issue.