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ESPN suspends analyst over 'derogatory slur' about Browns quarterback caught on hot mic


Grossi apologized after the public outrage

2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

An ESPN analyst was suspended on Tuesday over a "derogatory slur" that was accidentally caught by a microphone about Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Tony Grossi complained that the Browns could have had other, better quarterbacks, when a live microphone caught his insult against Mayfield.

He named other quarterbacks the Browns had passed on, then called Mayfield a "f**king midget."

The video quickly went viral, and ESPN Cleveland released a statement about his suspension.

"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," the statement read.

"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," the statement continued. "In addition, we will pursue sensitivity and inclusion training for everyone on our content teams across our company."

Grossi also released a statement via his official social media account.

"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," said Grossi.

"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," he added.

"I have always endeavored to report and comment on him and the team fairly, and am shaken by these events," Grossi concluded.

The Browns had a disappointing season after much hype in the media about their talented roster. They finished the 2019 season with a 6-10 record and missed the playoffs.

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