Provocateurs have proven to be very valuable in the current sports media landscape. Years ago, ESPN caught lightning in a bottle with shows like Pardon The Interruption and Around the Horn, the new next step in that direction, First Take, is basically the model for how rival FOX Sports 1, which is hiring away longtime co-host Skip Bayless, is building its daily programming. A show like First Take relies on big news-making declarations, and opinions that will get people riled up. Sometimes, on live television or a fast-paced medium like Twitter, personalities cross the line, and are punished.
The most recent example is Emily Austen, a Tampa Bay Rays and Orlando Magic sideline reporter for FOX Sports Florida who will no longer be appearing on the network due to racist statements she made on a Barstool Sports Facebook Live show. She is far from the only sports personality to be given the axe for things they’ve said.
Here are 10 of the most notorious examples of people in sports media who have been fired for the things they’ve said.