Atlanta radio host Mike Bell has been suspended for making sexist comments toward ESPN commentator Jessica Mendoza on Twitter.
Bell tweeted the remarks during Tuesday's ESPN broadcast of the AL wild-card game between the Yankees and Astros, making a reference to the film “Anchorman,” a satire of the heavily male-dominated 1970s television broadcast culture, while insulting Mendoza's qualifications. In one, he wrote: “When you're up there hitting the softball you see a lot of 95 mile an hour cutters?”
Bell was suspended by radio station 92.9/The Game on Wednesday afternoon. He offered a pre-taped statement on-air, calling the immediate backlash he received an “eye-opening experience.” The length of his suspension has not been specified.
Mendoza, 34, was a four-time All-America softball player at Stanford who won gold and silver medals for the United States at the Athens and Beijing Olympics as a member of the United States women's national team. After working her way up through the ESPN ranks, she began on Baseball Tonight in 2014 and worked her way into the broadcast booth this year, becoming the first female MLB analyst in ESPN history.
Bell continued arguing about his comment on Twitter and as of Wednesday afternoon, had not deleted many of his tweets from Tuesday night.
The Atlanta Falcons expressed their displeasure at Bell's comments on Wednesday.
Embarrassed by Mike Bell’s comments, given he’s on our flagship station. Inappropriate and disappointing.— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) October 7, 2015
- Jeremy Woo