It would seem that ESPN is happy to suspend people for anything these days. Hot on the heels of Stephen A. Smith’s controversial remarks on Ray Rice and domestic abuse, Max Kellerman is being suspended for talking about the same topic on ESPN radio in LA.
The New York Daily News reports that Kellerman disregarded a warning from the big heads at ESPN concerning the Ray Rice situation when he went on ESPN LA’s Mason And Ireland show. On-Air, Kellerman told a story about he and his wife in college. From The Daily News:
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.
Now just to make it clear, Kellerman wasn’t suspended for the content of his story. He was suspended for not toeing the company line at ESPN, something that some might find a bit concerning.
Kellerman will return to ESPN LA by Thursday, but the whole situation raises a lot of questions. The folks over at Deadspin bring up that it is unclear if the directive that got Kellerman suspended covers talk of the situation itself, the response of the NFL to the situation, or both.
It should also be noted that this directive could be in place to avoid another situation like the one that developed with Stephen A. Smith and not in some effort to quiet any real discussion on the issue. It doesn’t reflect very kindly on practices at ESPN either way.