Veteran ESPN broadcaster Ron Franklin has apologized for a comment he made toward a coworker that led the cable network to pull him from the air before Saturday’s Fiesta Bowl.
"I said some things I shouldn’t have and am sorry. I deserved to be taken off the Fiesta Bowl," Franklin said in a statement late Monday.
Franklin was disciplined after he called ESPN sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards "sweet baby" and "a–hole" during an off-air spat, according to several reports.
Franklin and Edwards were scheduled to work together for Friday’s Chick-fil-A Bowl, and the incident occurred in a pregame production meeting also attended by ESPN announcers Ed Cunningham and Rod Gilmore.
The conversation turned to the subject of Gilmore’s wife, Marie, being elected mayor of Alameda, Calif., and that’s reportedly when the confrontation began.
"Listen to me, sweet baby, let me tell you something," Franklin reportedly told her.
“Don’t call me sweet baby, I don’t like being talked to like that,” Edwards responded.
Franklin then said, “OK then, listen to me, a–hole.”
Franklin’s comments were reported to ESPN management. Management attempted to pull Franklin from the Chick-fil-A Bowl broadcast, but it was too late to find a replacement.
Franklin was pulled from the Fiesta Bowl broadcast Saturday instead. Franklin, who signed a two-year contract with ESPN last July, apparently will not be disciplined further, an ESPN source told Sports by Brooks.
Sports by Brooks initially reported the incident Sunday. It was confirmed Monday by USA Today.