ESPN Cleveland Suspends Tony Grossi For Describing Baker Mayfield With Derogatory Term
ESPN Cleveland has suspended radio host Tony Grossi for using derogatory comments while describing Browns‘ quarterback Baker Mayfield. According to a statement released by the station on Tuesday, Grossi has been suspended indefinitely effective immediately.
“We are aware of Tony Grossi’s statement about Baker Mayfield. The term Tony used is a derogatory slur to describe Little People. Good Karma Brands will not tolerate derogatory language that demeans others or groups of people,” ESPN Cleveland said in a statement. “We are addressing this matter with Tony directly, and while we normally do not comment on personnel matters, we do want to share that we have made the decision to immediately and indefinitely suspend Tony Grossi. In addition, we will pursue sensitivity and inclusion training for everyone on our content teams across our company.”
Grossi were heard on-air referring to Mayfield as a “f—ing midget.” The 24-year-old’s name popped up in conversation while Grossi was mentioning other franchise quarterbacks drafted in the first round including Deshaun Watson, Carson Wentz and Patrick Mahomes.
Grossi has been critical of Mayfield in the past. In 2017, five months before the Browns drafted him, Grassi tweeted that Mayfield was “put on this planet to sucker the Browns.” In January 2018, Grossi wrote an article that contained a comparison between Johnny Manziel and Mayfield where the radio host said, “To me, Mayfield looks, sounds, acts and plays like the reincarnation of Manziel—notwithstanding Manziel’s substance abuse issues.”
In October 2020, Mayfield was asked by Grossi in a post game press conference if he was happy with a drive that didn’t end with a score. He responded, “That’s the dumbest question you could ask” before leaving the podium.
Grossi apologized for the incident in a statement posted to Twitter on Tuesday that read, “I am truly sorry for my language and choice of words in a remark I made about Baker Mayfield that was captured on our live feed on TheLandOnDemand. I sincerely apologize for using a word that is a derogatory slur. There’s no excuse for using that language in any context. It was said without malice but also without thought. It is well known that Baker and I have had our differences, and in the course of this experience, I’ve had to question my role in the erosion of the relationship. I have always endeavored to report and comment on him and the team fairly, and am shaken by these events. I will strive to be a better person and professional. I apologize to little people, Good Karma Brands, the Cleveland Browns, Baker Mayfield, to our listeners and to anyone who was offended by my remark.”