February 23, 2010
ESPN has suspended former Monday Night Football analyst and host of Pardon The Interruption Tony Kornheiser for two weeks after comments he made on the radio about the wardrobe of SportsCenter host Hannah Storm.
Last week, Kornheiser opened his Washington D.C. radio show by critiquing the clothing Storm was wearing while hosting one of the Tuesday morning editions of "SportsCenter". He said:
Hannah Storm in a horrifying, horrifying outfit today. She's got on red go-go boots and a catholic school plaid skirt. Way too short for somebody in her 40s or maybe early 50s by now. And she's got on her typically very, very tight shirt. So she looks like she's got sausage casing wrapping around her upper body. I mean, I know she's very good, and I'm not supposed to be critical of ESPN people, so I won't ... But, Hannah Storm, come on now! Stop! What are you doing? ... [She's] what I would call a Holden Caulfield fantasy at this point.
Kornheiser later apologized on air for the remarks and said he called Storm to apologize. But when he wasn't on PTI yesterday, suspicions grew that ESPN had suspended Kornheiser for having the audacity to criticize a fellow employee. On Tuesday morning, he confirmed that on the radio:
On Friday I talked about the fact that I had made intemperate and stupid remarks about Hannah Storm and that I had called her and I had apologized and we had a 15-minute chat. All of that is true... And as a result of this, I have been sent to the sidelines from PTI for a while and when I'm allowed back on PTI I will happily go back because I really love the PTI show and love all the people on the PTI show.
Kornheiser then repeated one of his radio mantras: "If you put a live microphone in front of someone, eventually that person will say something wrong." That's true of all the radio greats like Stern, Imus and Limbaugh. (Though Kornheiser doesn't have the national following of those hosts, he's a fantastic radio personality.) And, ironically, what usually gets those guys into trouble is the stuff you wouldn't have found offensive upon first listen.
On a given radio show, Kornheiser might say similar comments about any number of people. He got in trouble this time because ESPN has a strict policy about criticism within the network. Other personalities have been felled by the rule before, so the suspension itself wasn't all that surprising.
It may have a drawback though. Before, the insensitive comments were heard by a select few in the D.C. area and people who frequent sports blogs. Now, they're national news.
Thanks, The Big Lead
Other popular stories on Yahoo! Sports:
• Eli Manning refuses to take $500,000 from hospital
• Disgruntled Olympic skater’s bizarre claim
• Teammate’s prank results in drastic hairdo