Saturday, June 11, 2016

Fox Sports Florida Reporter Emily Austen Fired

There are some people who routinely make ethnic or racial comments and earn a good living doing just that. These people are usually comedians, writers or politicians who represent districts where the overwhelming majority of people look like them and/or agree with their point of view. Other people are better off just reading whatever is on the teleprompter, smiling and raking in the big bucks. When some people go off script and let you know what they really think they run into problems. There's a very thin line between a comment that is crass or ignorant but not meanspirited and one that is deliberately malicious. Who knows what's really in Emily Austen's (former Fox Sports Florida sideline reporter for the Tampa Bay Rays and Orlando Magic) heart. All the public can go by is what Austen said. I'm betting that Austen is probably wishing that she hadn't made the comments that she made during an interview with Barstool Sports.

Emily Austen won't be the sideline reporter for future Tampa Bay Rays games on Fox Sports Florida. Nor will she do that job for the Orlando Magic next season either. After unleashing a variety of racial and religious jokes during a live Facebook chat with Barstool Sports, Austen has gotten the ax from Fox's regional sports station. During a 35-minute video with three men, Austen made several controversial comments, among them:
• That she "didn't even know that Mexicans were that smart.''
• How the "Chinese guy is always the smartest guy in math class.''
• About how she "used to talk to Jews in Boca'' when she was a server, saying one customer was "stingy'' because he complained about how she poured his beer and that "they would complain and b---- about everything.''
Austen, 27, also referred to Cleveland Cavaliers basketball player Kevin Love as a "little b - - - -.'' While this is the sort of anti-PC, bro-centric content that has made Barstool Sports a popular (and well-funded) Internet destination, Austen learned pretty quickly what flies on Barstool Sports doesn't necessarily fly at her workplace. 

I don't see this as political correctness run amok so much as I see someone who lost sight of who she was and how important she wasn't to her company. You have to be pretty stupid or pretty privileged to let something you're doing outside of your workplace interfere with your work. I listen to sports radio during my commute. It is a place where slightly different rules apply. Still there are standards. Questioning a player's masculinity in a crude fashion is inbounds I think. Being amazed that an entire ethnic group/nationality is not as dumb as you thought they were is out of bounds. You always need to have a clear understanding of your value to your employer. If your departure won't negatively change your company's revenue stream or stock price, you should probably be careful about what you say in public. The other lesson is something everyone should already know. Just because someone smiles at you doesn't mean they like you. You can hear the problematic comments starting at 24:31.


Do you think Austen deserved to be fired for her comments?

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