ESPN Cleveland Suspends Tony Grossi for Calling Baker Mayfield 'F--king Midget'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2020

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) throws against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Radio host Tony Grossi has been suspended by ESPN Cleveland for derogatory comments he made about Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. 

Per an official statement from ESPN Cleveland, Grossi has been suspended indefinitely effective immediately. 

In audio picked up from the NFL Scouting Combine, Grossi was heard referring to Mayfield as "a f--king midget."

Per Tom Withers of the Associated Press, a spokesman for Mayfield declined to comment on Grossi's use of the slur. 

Grossi appeared to make the comment as he and others were discussing other recent highly drafted quarterbacks such as Carson Wentz, Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes. 

This isn't the first time Grossi has had negative things to say about Mayfield. One occasion in October led to the 24-year-old signal-caller walking out of a press conference after getting into a heated back-and-forth with Grossi. 

In November 2017, five months before the Browns drafted Mayfield, Grossi tweeted that the then-Oklahoma star was "put on this planet to sucker the Browns."

Grossi wrote an article for ESPN Cleveland in January 2018 calling comparisons between Mayfield and Johnny Manziel fair: "To me, Mayfield looks, sounds, acts and plays like the reincarnation of Manziel—notwithstanding Manziel’s substance abuse issues."

The Browns selected Mayfield No. 1 overall in the 2018 NFL draft. He had a successful debut season with an NFL rookie-record 27 touchdown passes in 14 games. 

Mayfield took a step back in 2019 with 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. The Browns' initial expectations faded as they finished with a disappointing 6-10 record. 

Grossi has worked as a radio host for ESPN Cleveland since 2012. 

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