ESPN Cleveland suspends host for derogatory words about Baker Mayfield

Michael David Smith
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

Longtime Cleveland sports journalist Tony Grossi has been suspended from his radio job for a comment he made about Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Grossi, who apparently didn’t realize that his microphone was on and his words were being broadcast on ESPN Radio’s Cleveland affiliate, used a profanity and a slur when discussing all the quarterbacks the Browns have missed out on, leaving them with Mayfield.

“And who do we got? A f–king midget,” Grossi said.

Little People of America calls the word “midget” a derogatory slur, and ESPN Cleveland said in a statement that the word should not be used on its airwaves.

“We are aware of Tony Grossi’s statement about Baker Mayfield,” ESPN Cleveland said in a statement. “The term Tony used is a derogatory slur to describe Little People. . . . We are addressing this matter with Tony directly, and while we normally do not comment on personnel matters, we do want to share that we have made the decision to immediately and indefinitely suspend Tony Grossi.”

Grossi and Mayfield have a long history. Before the Browns drafted Mayfield, Grossi reported that Mayfield had been demanding in his pre-draft visits with NFL teams. Last season, Mayfield stormed away from the media after blasting a question Grossi asked as “dumb.” Grossi later said Mayfield has been disrespectful many times. This time it was Grossi who was disrespectful.

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