On Monday, Jos blogged about Ron Franklin, the ESPN announcer who was suspended for calling a female colleague “sweet baby,” (not, as we previously thought, “sweetcakes”) and then “asshole.” Jos wrote, “I’m curious to see how serious the penalty against Franklin will be. Will he just be kept off one radio broadcast, or will he face a harsher penalty?”
Well, it seems it’s the latter: Franklin has been fired. A statement from ESPN reads, “based on what occurred last Friday, we have ended our relationship with him.”
As the Washington Post reports, this is far from the first time that ESPN has had to discipline a male employee for sexually harassing a female one. But, says Dan Lebowitz, executive director of the Sport in Society program at Northeastern University, ESPN isn’t unusual in this way – it’s just more visible. ESPN’s “dysfunctional” culture, he said, “just mimics an inherent ill in our society. It’s more a reflection of overall societal behavior where women are mistreated in the workplace. Whether it’s the investment industry or the entertainment industry or something else, it’s across the board. It just seems more sensational at ESPN because they’re a very public entity.”
Still, it’s great to see ESPN take sexual harassment seriously, and I’m not sorry to see Franklin fired. Good riddance, sweetcakes!