BRISTOL, Conn. – Frustrated with its employees’ repeated on-air discussions of domestic abuse matters, ESPN announced that it will demote “SportsNation” host Max Kellerman to coverage of the Professional Bowlers Association in direct response to his recent comments about beating his then fiancée and present wife.
“We issued plenty of warnings about bringing up Ray Rice or anything related to domestic abuse,” said an ESPN spokesman, “but Max openly defied us. For that, he’ll be spending the next year out of the limelight, broadcasting bowling matches from places like Sioux City, Citrus Heights, and San Jose if he’s lucky.”
Kellerman will officially start the new stint once his one-week suspension, issued by ESPN, ends. He’ll fly to Des Moines, Iowa, where he will provide color commentary at the PBA Bowlerama Lanes Midwest Open with bowling Hall of Famer Randy Pedersen.
“It’ll be tough, but that doesn’t mean I don’t deserve it,” remarked a downtrodden Kellerman, who admitted that he would much prefer to commentate a high-profile boxing match from Las Vegas and stay at a luxurious hotel like Encore rather than broadcast to a mere dozen people across America’s breadbasket and be forced to stay in a Red Roof Inn adjacent to the highway.
“Hopefully I’ll learn from this,” Kellerman said.
The ESPN spokesman explained that tougher measures, like relegating its employees “to the dregs of PBA life,” will be the norm moving forward, especially in light of its softer and ineffectual punishment issued to ESPN talking head Stephen A. Smith, who was only suspended for one week after his he urged women not to provoke domestic abuse. Smith went on to sign a deal with the satellite radio juggernaut SiriusXM shortly after his suspension ended.
“Kellerman won’t be signing any radio deals like Smith,” continued the spokesman, “unless it’s with someone like ESPN Wapakoneta.”
Despite ESPN’s assurance that PBA relegation properly suits Kellerman’s transgressions, some pundits believe that The Worldwide Leader in Sports needs to take bolder steps in similar situations.
“Sure, the ratings stink and I’ve literally never met a single person who watches bowling. It will likely sabotage this guy’s broadcasting career,” argued New York Daily News sports columnist Bill Rogers. “But to me, ESPN needs to do more when addressing these patently sexist comments. They need to make these guys regret their words for the rest of their lives.”
In Rogers’ mind, that can only mean one thing.
“I’ve got three words for you: Canadian Football League.”