Note to Ron Franklin: It’s 2011

25-year ESPN announcer Ron Franklin fired after making disparaging remarks towards sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards (Photo Courtesy: Getty Images)

While many of us have been on vacation or at least taking it a bit easy, higher-ups at ESPN have had a tough couple of weeks. First there was the plagiarism incident with ESPNews Sportscaster Will Selva,  then to further complicate things College Football announcer Ron Franklin called sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards “sweet-baby” and “a-hole” prior to the Chick-Fil-A bowl.

Give ESPN credit, in both cases they acted swiftly and decisively, suspending Selva indefinitely and today firing Franklin the 25-year veteran of the network.

“Based on what occurred last Friday, we have ended our relationship with him,” ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz told USA Today.

Franklin’s words show just out of touch he has become with today’s sports journalism. More and more women have carved out prominent roles on Sports Television, for Franklin to dismiss Edwards like a bothersome fly hovering above his sweet tea is demeaning and disrespectful. Enough of this already, women have long since graduated from handing their man a beer while they watch the game.

ESPN’s hand may have been forced by a similar incident in Franklin’s history. During a 2005 Notre Dame vs. Purdue broadcast, Franklin and sideline reporter Holly Rowe had a bit of an awkward moment. Notre Dame was up by 4 touchdowns and Rowe praised Purdue for still calling timeouts.

Rowe:  “If the coaches are giving up, what does that say to the players?”

Franklin: “Holly, it’s not giving up. It’s 49-21, sweetheart.”

While this may seem minor, it is patronizing and you never patronize your co-workers on the air. Was Rowe’s comment a little superficial, sure, but there are probably 10 analyst remarks per game that could be ridiculed. I guarantee if Craig James said those same words Franklin wouldn’t have given him the verbal pat on the head.

Times have changed but the 68-year old Franklin doesn’t seem to have changed with them and ESPN decided enough was enough.


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Article by Brian

I am a 12-year veteran of the Sports TV industry with experience as a Writer, Producer, Video Editor and News Director. I’ve held stints at both CNN/Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports Net Northwest. I was destined for a career in sports ever since I started sneaking out of bed at age seven to watch Celtics games on Channel 38 in Boston. My Sophomore year at the University of Delaware, I declared my major in Communication/TV Production and the rest is history. I’m an avid sports fan, husband, father of two and I currently live in the Pacific Northwest. Read 34 articles by Brian
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