ESPN AM 850 WKNR analyst Tony Grossi has been suspended after calling Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield a “f***ing midget” during a show on the station Tuesday morning.
Grossi assumed that the microphones were turned off, but the mics were live on the station’s live stream and heard by those watching the live video.
It took a few hours but Grossi was suspended indefinitely by Good Karma Brands, the company that owns ESPN 850 AM WKNR.
The company also issued a statement regarding the incident.
“The term Tony used is a derogatory slur to describe Little People. Good Karma Brands will not tolerate derogatory language that demeans others or groups of people,” the company said Tuesday in a media release.
“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. In addition, we will pursue sensitivity and inclusion training for everyone on our content teams across our company,” Good Karma Brands stated.
“From Good Karma Brands, to our fans, our partners, the Browns and Baker Mayfield – we are sorry.”
The 63-year-old Grossi, who was fired from the Plain Dealer in 2012 for accidentally putting out a tweet calling Browns then owner Randy Lerner an “irrelevant billionaire” issued an apology via Twitter Tuesday afternoon.
— Tony Grossi (@TonyGrossi) February 25, 2020
It’s been no secret that Grossi and Mayfield have been at odds ever since the Browns drafted the quarterback with the first overall pick two years ago.
The two had an exchange during the season after the Browns lost a game in New England. That week Grossi pushed Mayfield about a specific possession at the end of the half, to which Mayfield walked off after uttering the phrase “Jesus Tony.”
Here’s the video with Tuesday’s incident – please note the language is not safe for work.
Goldhammer and Rizzo immediately knew this was trouble. Jesus, Tony. pic.twitter.com/I503raDLbT
— Ohio’s Tate (@BarstoolTate) February 25, 2020