There’s been some conflicting reports over exactly what words were used that got Franklin in hot water – early reports had the fellow calling a female colleague “sweetcheeks” – but the colleague in question, sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards, has clarified the story somewhat.
It all went down at a production meeting on Friday, when Edwards was in conversation with ESPN announcer Rod Gilmore. Ron Franklin joined the conversation, and said to Edwards, “Listen to me, sweet baby, let me tell you something …”
Edwards objected to being spoken to in such a condescending manner, so Franklin replied: “OK, then listen to me, asshole.”
From “sweet baby” to “asshole” – Better? We think so. At least the second swipe is gender neutral.
A third party reported the incident to ESPN management, and Franklin was yanked from the Fiesta Bowl radio coverage. Dave LaMont took his place.
ESPN Spokesman Josh Krulewitz said in a statement to website Sports by Brooks on Sunday:
We made a late play by play change to the fiesta bowl radio team. We’re not going to get into specifics other than to say adhering to our personal conduct policies and showing respect for colleagues are of the utmost importance to our company and we take them extremely seriously.
Franklin has since issued a statement apologizing for the incident. It reads: “I said some things I shouldn’t have and am sorry. I deserved to be taken off the Fiesta Bowl.”