Has ESPN Gone To Far This Time?

Michael Gibbons@DachicagofanCorrespondent IIFebruary 24, 2010

NEW YORK - AUGUST 27:  Newscaster Hannah Storm attends the 10th annual BNP Paribas Taste of Tennis at W New York on August 27, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for AYS World)
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

ESPN this past Friday suspend Tony Kornheiser, co-host of Pardon the Interruption otherwise known as PTI, for making comments about how Sportscenter co-host Hannah Storm was dressed Tuesday morning on February 16. Tony's radio show is only heard locally in Washington DC. His exact comments were :

"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."

On this past Friday's show, February 19, Tony openly said he was sorry for the comments he made earlier in the week. Then Monday afternoon came and Tony was missing from the PTI set. Not something that strange since he does take time off  but it was definately odd timing and it did cause people to ask the question. Was Tony suspended?

Tony had an answer for everyone this morning: "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."

ESPN did release a statement: "Tony Kornheiser's comments about Hannah Storm were entirely inappropriate. Hurtful and personal comments such as these are not acceptable and have significant consequences. Tony has been suspended from PTI for two weeks. Hannah is a respected colleague who has been an integral part of the success of our morning SportsCenter."

Really? Is free speech gone? Let me just point out to those who don't know, PTI is the only job Tony has with ESPN. He no longer calls Monday Night Football games and his radio show is no longer aired on ESPN radio.

Is ESPN getting too sensitive? It seems like everyone either gets suspended or fired for doing anything wrong or being involved in any sort of scandal, well except Erin Andrews.

There has been Harold Reynolds, Steve Philips, Michael Irvin, Rush Limbaugh and numerous other suspensions and firings that we may not even know about.

What Tony said on his show is why ESPN hired him in the first place, it's the reason they hire most of their on air personalities. They have an opinion and aren't afraid to give it.  It's like getting an attack dog but not being able to deal with it once it bites someone.

I wonder if Chris Berman made the same comment what the punishment would be?


    Iconic Sports Illustrated Writer Deford Dies at Age 78

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    Iconic Sports Illustrated Writer Deford Dies at Age 78

    Tyler Conway
    via Bleacher Report