07.27.06

Raissman On Reynolds’ Exit

Posted in Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 10:33 am by

Echoing Will Leitch’s insistence that ESPN is obliged to tell the public more than just “Harold Reynolds doesn’t work here anymore,” the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman takes a rather dim view of the deposed broadcaster and his former employer.

Reynolds told the New York Post he wanted his job back, explaining he was fired for “giving a woman a hug” that he felt was “misinterpreted.”

But Reynolds told USA Today he was ousted because: “They (ESPN suits) made a decision to have a change in direction. I respect their decision, but I don’t necessarily agree with it.” Reynolds added he already was considering several job offers while his attorney was working on a financial settlement with ESPN. This would seem to indicate he either does not want his ESPN job back or already knows ESPN won’t take him back.

When I asked Reynolds what happened, he said something about a difference “in philosophy” that he might talk about in a “couple of” days. “Don’t press me,” he said. “I’m a nice guy.”

That’s not really the issue here. Until someone offers concrete proof, Reynolds’ ultimate transgression will be open to speculation. This is bad news for him. It’s also bad for anyone who values the truth. And it has everything to do with the way ESPN brass chose to handle this situation.

By offering no reason for firing Reynolds, ESPN suits released a torrent of rumors. They also provided cover for Reynolds, allowing him to provide different answers to what likely were the same questions. Reynolds, a former major leaguer, certainly knows how to cover all the bases.

when reports of Reynolds’ firing surfaced, it was no shock that ESPN suits elected to stonewall. They have done it before. They have reasons for their silent treatment. An ESPN executive might ask a reporter that if someone at “your newspaper” gets fired, would it publish a story about why it happened? Or would your boss offer the media a reason for a particular dismissal?

This rationale fails to take into account that unlike your average newspaper reporter, Reynolds, like other high profile ESPN talent, is a celebrity. ESPN is a national TV network that goes into 90 million homes. When someone is suddenly fired, those who watch the network want to know why. They care about a guy like Reynolds.

Someone at ESPN also might tell you there are legal issues to consider. Or how there is no need, after someone is fired, to ruin his or her chances of ever getting another gig by releasing the gory details.

In some respects this is admirable. Still, like it has in the past, the policy allows some deviant who has preyed on a woman to move to another network and do it again.

2 Responses to “Raissman On Reynolds’ Exit”

  1. SS says:

    “Reynolds, a former major leaguer, certainly knows how to cover all the bases.”

    HIYO

  2. Harold Reynolds Friend says:

    Harold Reynolds & Sexual Harassment Allegations

    Harold is a personal friend of mine (like my little brother) so I know his side of the story which will soon come out at his attorney’s discretion. Not only am I personal friend of Harold, I am a professional fact-finding investigator in discrimination cases, including sexual harassment cases.

    Under the law, nothing that Harold did fits under the definition of sexual harassment. According to the law; “Any unwanted (unwelcome) words, touching, gestures or action of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment.” In order to have a case of sexual harassment the allege victim must tell the person initiating the actions or gesture that their actions and gesture is unwelcome and unwanted. If the person ignore the victims warning and persist with the behavior, that constitute sexual harassment. This never happened in the case of Harold Reynolds and ESPN’s Human Resource manager should be fired for not knowing the law and the definition of sexual harasssment.

    Unwanted sexual advances are determined by the allege victim. To one woman, a hand shake can be considered sexual harassment. To another a mere look could be considered sexual harassment and to another a friendly hug can be sexual harassment.

    What is unusual about the ESPN case against Harold Reynolds is that none of the white victims have been identified. In contrast, in the case of the allege black victim vs Duke University, not only was the so called black victim identified, but all of her family members and ex-boyfriends were also identified.

    What about the allege hug. I believe Harold hugged the girl, because he hugs everyone. I was at the hospital when he hugged a little boy who was dying of cancer and was his last dying wish to see Harold. Not only did Harold hug the little (in his isolation tent), he knelt down besides the bed and prayed for the little boy while the boy’s cried.

    I was there when he hugged a homeless bum who said he was Harold’s fan. Not only did Harold hug the man, he invited the man and his homeless friends to be his guest at the next game (in his box seats) and instructed me to take care of the tickets, food and all the arangements.

    I was there when he hugged the man that sell the peanuts at the game. The man was a guest at Harold’s home for a family barbeque. Harold always invite people to his home, against my advice.

    I seen him hug a little Asian girl that was part of Major League Baseball commerical.

    I seen him hug (male) the head of an inner-city Little League that needed uniforms for all 13 team in the league. The hug came after he had purchased uniforms and equipment for all 13 teams.

    I seen him hug his team mates, church members friends and people whom he has met for the first time (men, women, and children).

    Keep Harold in your thoughts and prayers

    Sincerely,

    Harold’s Friend

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