Another ESPN mouth is in hot water.
The Daily News has learned ESPN has suspended Max Kellerman for an inappropriate conversation on ESPN-LA Radio surrounding Ray Rice and domestic abuse. 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 conversation in question took place Monday afternoon, three days after Stephen A. Smith was suspended for saying women should be careful not to “provoke” any incident of abuse. On ESPN-LA, Kellerman told a story going back years when he and his then-girlfriend Erin, who now is his wife, attended a college party.
Kellerman said they both had to much too drink. He said when he tried getting things under control his then-girlfriend slapped him. Kellerman said he slapped her back. He was quick to tell listeners that the woman is now is his wife and they have been happily married for 20 years.
Industry sources said while the content of his story was disturbing, the suspension was all about Kellerman, who once worked for ESPN New York Radio, not adhering to ESPN brass’ warning concerning the Rice topic being a highly sensitive one. “My understanding is that it was part of a larger conversation ESPN had with all its on-air people,” a radio industry source said. “Kellerman obviously didn’t pay attention.”
While the topic became even more charged after Smith’s remarks and suspension, ESPN personalities were warned to measure and consider their commentary as soon as Rice’s two game suspension was handed down by commissioner Roger Goodell.
Kellerman’s remarks were briefly posted on an ESPN-LA podcast but quickly pulled down and never widely circulated.
Ironically, Michelle Beadle is one of the “SportsNation” hosts. After Smith made his reamarks, she called him out on Twitter. Beadle is currently on vacation and has not yet offered comments on the Kellerman situation. Kellerman’s other co-host is former NFL player Marcellus Wiley, who also joins him on the radio side.
Kellerman’s suspension comes on the heels of ESPN sitting Dan Le Batard down for two days for funding a billboard in Cleveland that read: “You’re welcome LeBron, Love Miami.”
Credit to the NY Daily News who originally published this article