Former ESPN announcer sues network over firing
Former ESPN announcer Ron Franklin has sued the network over his
firing for reportedly berating a female colleague.
The wrongful termination lawsuit filed Monday in state district
court in Franklin’s hometown of Austin claims ESPN had no grounds
for dismissing him. The suit says Franklin exchanged ”contentious
words” with a colleague who repeatedly interrupted a private
conversation before the pair worked at the Chick-fil-A Bowl without
Sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards has said Franklin called her
”sweet baby” in a condescending tone. When she objected, he used
a derogatory term. Edwards said a colleague reported the incident
to ESPN officials.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and other fees, but not
reinstatement. An attorney for Franklin didn’t immediately return a
phone call seeking comment.
Franklin was pulled from Fiesta Bowl coverage on New Year’s Day,
a day after the Chick-fil-A Bowl, and later apologized. He was
fired Jan. 5.
The lawsuit claims ESPN and its corporate partner, ABC, spread
”false and inflated versions” of the exchange and damaged
”We are confident that the action we took was appropriate,”
said Josh Krulewitz, a spokesman for Bristol, Conn.-based ESPN.
Franklin was one of the lead play-by-play voices for ESPN for 24
years, calling primarily college football and basketball.