Philadelphia sports radio host, Mike Missanelli, of ESPN 97.5 The Fanatic announced he was fired from a television gig due to disparaging comments about female broadcasters. Beth Mowins was ESPN’s play-by-play announcer for the late Monday Night Football game during week 1, Missanelli disregarded her credentials and questioned why she had the job.
On his radio show, Missanelli said:
“I don’t know why the sporting world needs a female play-by-play person on an NFL game. And I know that sounds harsh and I just want to know what is the reason for it?”
Missanelli admitted he didn’t watch much of the Monday Night Football game from week 1 that Beth Mowins called.
Recognizing the potential backlash regarding his comments, Missanelli continued, “I’m just curious as to why we need to have a woman call an NFL game,” he said. “Now I know she’s called many college games, uh, I don’t know, maybe I should quit while I’m ahead.”
Beth Mowins’ Monday Night Football appearance received mostly positive reviews. Viewers were more critical of the broadcast’s color analyst, Rex Ryan, and focused on the appearance of Sergio Dipp that went viral.
In recent weeks there have been multiple female broadcasters who earned prominent play-by-play positions within professional sports as women continue to make strides in a mostly male dominated industry.
Missanelli’s announcement that he was relieved from his weekly television appearance on Philadelphia’s local ABC affiliate came on the same day as Cam Newton’s male chauvinistic statements to a female sports reporter. After receiving a question from Jourdan Rodrigue, Newton laughed and responded, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes like…it’s funny.” Newton did post a heartfelt apology video on social media the next day, and following Sunday’s game Newton said his comments were “sarcasm trying to give somebody kind of a compliment.”
Missanelli did blame himself for losing his role on television, but believes ABC’s reaction was harsh, mentioning ESPN’s decision to not suspend or fire Jemele Hill following her heavily opinionated Twitter comments about President Trump. The local Philadelphia ABC affiliate is owned by Disney, just as ESPN is.