No one likes to celebrate a coach’s firing — except of course, for Browns fans and players — but the actions of ESPN NFL analyst Adam Schefter and “SportsCenter” host Hannah Storm raised eyebrows yesterday morning when the pair appeared to be yucking it up over Mike Holmgren kicking Eric Mangini to the curb. From USA Today‘s Michael McCarty :
The incident happened on SportsCenter Monday morning. As Schefter discussed which NFL coaches were on the hot seat for Black Monday, he received a text or an email announcing that Mangini (above) had been relieved of his duties by the Browns. The ESPN personalities laughed. Storm and Schefter high-fived before realizing the seriousness of the situation.
“Their actions were inappropriate, and they immediately recognized this and acknowledged it on-air,” says ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz in a statement. “While they were not making light of the firing itself, everyone involved understands how difficult it is on individuals to lose their jobs and the effect it can have on their families, and ESPN apologizes for the incident.”
Storm, Elliott and Schefter all have excellent professional reputations. My take is that the trio were laughing over an inside joke about Schefter’s incessant use of his Blackberry, not about the firing of Mangini. They realized quickly how bad it looked. But the damage was done.