Another ESPN employee was suspended today, not for saying things that can be interpreted as defending Ray Rice, but for saying things that are definitely very critical of NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell.
ESPN commentator and Grantland editor-in-chief Bill Simmons went off on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during his podcast Tuesday, lambasting the commissioner for claiming not to have known what the Ray Rice tape contained:
Goodell, if he didn’t know what was on that tape, he’s a liar. I’m just saying it. He is lying. I think that dude is lying. If you put him up on a lie detector test that guy would fail. For all these people to pretend they didn’t know is such fucking bullshit. It really is — it’s such fucking bullshit. And for him to go in that press conference and pretend otherwise, I was so insulted. I really was.
That rant caused ESPN to issue the following statement;
Every employee must be accountable to ESPN and those engaged in our editorial operations must also operate within ESPN’s journalistic standards. We have worked hard to ensure that our recent NFL coverage has met that criteria. Bill Simmons did not meet those obligations in a recent podcast, and as a result we have suspended him for three weeks.
The Baltimore Sun is reporting since former Ravens running back Ray Rice’s $35 million contract has been terminated and he’s indefinitely suspended by the NFL, the NFL Players Association and Rice are poised to appeal by filing a grievance as soon as Monday, according to sources.
Due process and the precedent for other players facing increased punishment are among the reasons for appealing the increased punishment Rice received, the sources said.
Rice is also considering potential legal action with all options remaining on the table following his increased discipline from the league, according to sources, who noted the potential “double-jeopardy” aspect of the former NFL player being punished twice for the same offense.
Sources indicated that Rice is also regarded as likely to hire a crisis management firm to offer him advice.
On Friday, the NFLPA got a letter from commissioner Roger Goodell explaining the increased punishment. The union has three business days to file an appeal, according to the NFL collective bargaining agreement
Another ESPN hose is suspended over the Ray Rice domestic abused issue. Following the return of Stephen A. Smith from his week long suspension, ESPN has now suspended Max Kellerman for comments he made about domestic abuse on a radio show.
Kellerman co-hosts a show on the station and is the co-anchor of ESPN TV’s “SportsNation.” He is also HBO Sports’ lead boxing analyst.
On the “Mason & Ireland ” show, which leads into his afternoon-drive program, Kellerman admitted to hitting his girlfriend many years ago.
ESPN would neither confirm nor deny Kellerman’s suspension. In a statement issued Friday afternoon and ESPN spokesman said: “Max Kellerman will return to ESPN-LA Radio and ‘SportsNation’ on Thursday.”
The racial disparities in American education, from access to high-level classes and experienced teachers to discipline, were highlighted in a report released Friday by the Education Department’s civil rights arm.
The suspensions — and disparities — begin at the earliest grades.
Black children represent about 18 percent of children enrolled in preschool programs in schools, but almost half of the students were suspended more than once, the report said. Six percent of the nation’s districts with preschools reported suspending at least one preschool child.
Advocates long have said get-tough suspension and arrest policies in schools have contributed to a “school-to-prison” pipeline that snags minority students, but much of the emphasis has been on middle school and high school policies. This was the first time the department reported data on preschool discipline.
Earlier this year, the Obama administration issued guidance encouraging schools to abandon what it described as overly zealous discipline policies that send students to court instead of the principal’s office. But even before the announcement, school districts have been adjusting policies that disproportionately affect minority students.
Overall, the data shows that black students of all ages are suspended and expelled at a rate that’s three times higher than that of white children. Even as boys receive more than two-thirds of suspensions, black girls are suspended at higher rates than girls of any other race or most boys.
The data doesn’t explain why the disparities exist or why the students were suspended.
“It is clear that the United States has a great distance to go to meet our goal of providing opportunities for every student to succeed,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a news release.
The winner of last season’s Sixth Man Award J.R Smith, will miss the first five games of the season for alledegedly testing positive for Marijuana, according to this tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski and Yahoo Sports.
After reading all of the responses to Roland Martins suspension from CNN I have been compelled to voice my perspective on this matter. I do not know Mr. Martin personally nor am I a member of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) organization. However, I am concerned about the arguments made by those who are opposed to CNN’s decision to suspend Martin. In my opinion, Martin supporters fail to acknowledge that he is responsible for the public scrutiny of his actions that led to his suspension. Moreover, I do not think that CNN was unfair or unreasonable in their decision.
Of the many responses I have read on this matter there are two commonly held views that I am especially concerned with. The first one deals with the argument that the suspension was unfair because CNN has not treated others the same when for similar acts of poor judgment. This argument is plausible however I think it negates the issue at hand. The matter here is not about what others have done but Martin’s personal conduct which reflected not only his views but represented those he is affiliated, in this case CNN.
I understand that employers should act fairly. As such, if CNN has a standard for which they discriminately applied, then Martin should seek legal redress. However, whether CNN has punished others for misconduct is of no consequence in this matter. Martin’s decision to make express his personal views in a public forum subjected not only himself but his employer to unwarranted scrutiny.
I am sure that CNN does not seek to control the private affairs of their employees. However, like any reasonable parent that tells their child to always conduct themselves in ways that will not negatively reflect upon the entire household. This is not an unreasonable request. In fact, it is quite common for employers to place in their employment contracts that repercussions will follow for private acts that are not consistent with the principles of the organization.
For instance, I am an adjunct instructor for a college in Texas and in the faculty handbook we are advised of the fact that
“…the public will judge the profession and the institution by the statements that an adjunct makes both in public and private life, he or she should strive to be accurate, to exercise appropriate restraint, to show respect for the opinions of others, and to avoid creating the impression that he or she speaks or acts for the System when speaking or acting as a private person.”
As such, given Martin’s affiliation with CNN he knew or should have known that such remarks could not only be misconstrued but subsequently attached to the network simply by association. Moreover, because it is likely that the relationship between CNN and Martin is governed by a contract he, like myself, is probably required to exercise good judgment in his private life.
Therefore, those that argue CNN has a double standard should consider the old adage, “two wrongs don’t make a right.” Even if CNN failed to reprimand others for the same offense, it does not make their suspension of Martin unreasonable or unwarranted. Furthermore, as an intellectual and a media professional, Martin should have known jokes made publicly to persons outside of his personal circle are likely to be scrutinized and possibly misinterpreted.
In this case, members of GLAAD asserted their opposition and urged CNN to take disciplinary action. Given the mission of GLAAD it was foreseeable that Martin’s failure to exercise good judgment might affect his standing with the network. Based upon the facts at issue Martin should take full responsibility for his actions.
The next argument involves GLAAD’s characterization of Martin and subsequent influence that led CNN to suspend Martin. GLAAD deemed Martin as anti-gay because of the following tweets he made on February 5, 2012 during the Super Bowl:
- “If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped David Beckham’s H&M’s underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!”
- “Who the hell was that New England Patriot they just showed in a head to toe pink suit? Oh, he needs a visit from teamwhipdatass.”
In response to the tweets GLAAD encouraged members to express their opposition to Martin’s remarks and inform the public of their mission. GLAAD members and their supporters begin tweeting messages branding Martin as homophobic. In addition, they alleged that Martin’s tweets promoted the use of violence against gays. Then GLAAD issued this statement to Inside TV:
“This isn’t a mistake made on Twitter. It’s part of a pattern of anti-LGBT rhetoric that culminated in two tweets yesterday promoting violence towards gay people. The time has come when CNN and Time Warner have to decide whether they want to continue to use their platforms to elevate those who use such language.”
The actions taken by GLAAD and its members prompted supporters of Martin to lash out against the organization. In defense of Martin sympathizers argued that GLAAD’s was to extreme in demanding CNN to fire him. While they agreed that Martin was irresponsible for his tweets, they disagree that he was advocating violence against gays. Martin advocates argue that he may was merely joking. Moreover, they insist that while his words may have been offensive GLAAD’s was wrong for defaming his character.
Like Martin, GLAAD has a right to say whatever they believe to encourage others to support their cause. GLAAD is an organization that is purposed to fight for equality of its members. In doing so they seek to hold media outlets such as CNN accountable for the images and messages they produce or endorse that are derogatory towards Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender persons (LGBT). As such, the actions by GLAAD may be extreme to some light of the circumstances but they are consistent with the mission of the organization.
As an interest group GLAAD enjoys the freedom to organize and express their views. America is a pluralist society which supports the theory that all interests are free to compete for the influence of their views to be incorporated in government, media or any other entities that may affect their members. As such, for those that disagree with GLAAD they too were free to organize and represent their position to CNN. Instead Martin supporters waited until after the decision was made to launch their opposition.
The fact that CNN agreed with GLAAD and decided to take corrective action in my opinion was not wrong. As aforementioned, most companies both public and private expect those affiliated or employed to conduct themselves in manners that will not negatively reflect upon the institution. Here, CNN reviewed the situation and determined that the remarks made by Martin were “regrettable and offensive.”
The network deemed his speech to be demeaning and said that they are “inconsistent with the values and culture of our organization, and is not tolerated.” Whether Roland Martin is a nice family man is not the issue. When Martin decided to post his comments on twitter he also made a decision to subject himself to public scrutiny, misinterpretation and suspension from work.
As I previously stated, Mr. Martin knew or should have known the possible consequences of his actions. Thus, his decision to tweet is personal views in a public forum in effect said that he was willing to accept the following repercussions. Therefore, to the argument that CNN has a double standard this may be true. However, it does not make Martin any less responsible for the consequences of his poor judgment.