ESPN has fired betting analyst Kelly Stewart after social media users unearthed a series of controversial tweets from 2012.
According to Front Office Sports, the firing of Kelly Stewart comes just one month after ESPN announced her hire.
“An ESPN spokesman confirmed Stewart was no longer with the network on Friday. Sources tell Front Office Sports that her departure was related to old Twitter messages and posts that were flagged after ESPN brought her on board. ESPN declined to state the reason she’s no longer at the network,” reported the outlet.
Stewart’s tweets from 2012 used an anti-gay slur and were in response to people criticizing women in sports media.
— Logan Matthews (@logan_matthews9) May 6, 2021
Stewart issued a statement on Twitter shortly after news broke of her firing, saying her nine-year-old words were “unacceptable and hurtful,” noting that she was previously punished for her statements.
“ESPN has notified me that they terminated my contract due to deleted tweets from 2012,” she wrote. “I know the words I used are unacceptable and hurtful and I am terribly sorry for this lapse in judgment, but I cannot apologize for standing up to the vicious attacks I, and so many other female personalities, endure from anonymous online trolls.”
“I wish ESPN had been willing to stand behind me, particularly because I’d already been suspended for these Tweets by another company several years ago, but I cannot control their decision. I can only say I’m sorry for the person I was and some of the mistakes I made in my youth,” she added.
Stewart asserted that she is not proud of her past decisions, saying she is “a better person now than I was a decade ago.”
Stewart was hired as a betting analyst on ESPN’s Daily Wager podcast last month and was to be included in the network’s betting coverage. “Having an experienced voice like Kelly Stewart join us better positions us to expand our sports betting content going forward,” Scott Clark, ESPN senior coordinating producer, said in the news release. “She’ll be an important asset to all that we are doing in the space and like the rest of our sports betting team, she will be busy.”
“Based in Las Vegas, Stewart has built up a reputation as one of the sports betting industry’s top handicappers over the last decade. Most recently, she’s been a sports betting analyst for Bleacher Report and WagerTalk.com,” noted Front Office Sports. “She’s also contributed to ESPN Radio in Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Review-Journal.”
“Having an experienced voice like Kelly Stewart join us better positions us to expand our sports betting content going forward,” Scott Clark, ESPN senior coordinating producer, said in the news release. “She’ll be an important asset to all that we are doing in the space and like the rest of our sports betting team, she will be busy.”
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