ESPN cuts ties with Cowherd over remarks about Dominican players

"Colin Cowherd's comments over the past two days do not reflect the values of ESPN," the network said in a statement Friday.
By Doug G. Ware  |  Updated July 24, 2015 at 9:36 PM
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BRISTOL, Conn., July 24 (UPI) -- Sports superchannel ESPN on Friday said it booted boisterous personality Colin Cowherd off its airwaves for what it saw as derogatory remarks he made about baseball players from the Dominican Republic, during his radio program a day earlier.

Cowherd was already set to leave the Connecticut-based network, after it declined last week to renew his contract, which expires this year. But now, the sports personality will no longer be on the air for ESPN in the interim.

During his program Thursday, Cowherd argued that baseball was not an overly complicated sport because a third of Major League players come from the Dominican Republic -- a nation he remarked has "not been known ... for world-class academic abilities."

During his program, The Herd, on Friday, Cowherd sought to clarify the remarks.

"I could've made the point without using one country, and there's all sorts of smart people from the Dominican Republic," he said. "I could've said a third of baseball's talent is being furnished from countries with economic hardships, therefore educational hurdles.

"For the record, I used the Dominican Republic because they've furnished baseball with so many great players."

The sports network, however, acted quickly in removing Cowherd from its airwaves.

"Colin Cowherd's comments over the past two days do not reflect the values of ESPN or our employees," ESPN said in a statement Friday. "Colin will no longer appear on ESPN."

Both Major League Baseball and the MLB Player's Association also criticized Cowherd's comments and asked that he apologize to Dominican players, which he subsequently did on Twitter.

Cowherd, who will move to Fox Sports later this year, is the latest well-known personality to leave ESPN -- which has recently mounted a deep cost-cutting campaign. In recent weeks, the network has also clipped other big name personalities like Keith Olbermann and Bill Simmons from its lineup.

The reason for the cuts is reportedly because ESPN President John Skipper was recently given a mandate by parent company Disney to cut $100 million from the budget in 2016 and a staggering $250 million in 2017.

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