Colin Cowherd had been a lame duck at ESPN anyway, but today the sports giant said he’s done there for good. Eight days after the company said its popular radio host and sometimes TV guy was leaving its ranks, ESPN has yanked him off its airwaves over remarks he made questioning the intellect of Dominicans.
On his radio show The Herd on Thursday, Cowherd was talking about how baseball is no more of a “thinking-man’s game” than other sports. “I’ve never bought into that whole ‘baseball is too complex,'” he said. “Really? A third of the sport is from the Dominican Republic. The Dominion Republic has not been known in my lifetime as having world-class intellectual abilities. I mean, a lot of those kids have come from rough backgrounds and have not had the opportunities academically that other kids from other countries have.”
Naturally, social media had a cow, and ESPN booted Cowherd for good today. “Colin Cowherd’s comments over the past two days do not reflect the values of ESPN or our employees,” the company said in a statement. “Colin will no longer appear on ESPN.”
Major League Baseball today also condemned Cowherd’s remarks:
For the record, about one-tenth of the players on opening-day MLB rosters were Dominican.
Before getting das boot, Cowherd was back on the air this morning saying his words had been taken out of context — because most media and folks only heard the quip about “world-class intellectual abilities.” So he played the entire 57 seconds of the offending rant (it starts at the 4:07 mark above) in an attempt to defend his position. After today’s show, however, he took to Twitter to apologize:
So ends the decade-plus relationship between Cowherd and ESPN. He’d been circling the drain there anyway, but no timetable was in place for their parting. It’s been widely speculated that he is headed to rival Fox Sports, but neither company nor Cowherd has confirmed that. Cowherd is the third high-profile exit from the Worldwide Leader in two months. ESPN announced July 8 that it won’t renew the contract of Keith Olbermann, who hosts an eponymous nightly show on ESPN2, and said in May that it had parted ways with Bill Simmons, who founded the Grantland site and was a popular fixture on TV and online.