Friday, January 25, 2008

ESPN's Dana Jacobson Suspended Over Roast Remarks

photo courtesy of

Earlier this week, ESPN's Dana Jacobson (the co-host of the morning sports talk program "ESPN First Take") was suspended by the network for one week because of remarks she made at a January 11th roast for fellow ESPN personalities Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic (the hosts of "Mike and Mike In the Morning"). The suspension comes on the heels of criticism Jacobson received by several Catholic advocacy groups. According to reports, an inebriated Jacobson appeared on stage at the non-televised event drinking from a bottle of Belvedere Vodka and said "Fuck Notre Dame," "Fuck Touchdown Jesus," and "Fuck Jesus". Over the years, Jacobson (a University of Michigan alum) and Golic (a former footballer for Notre Dame) have exchanged digs about the rivalry between the two schools. According to The Press of Atlantic City, Greenberg and Golic rested their heads in their hands in embarrassment and comedian Eddie Griffin came to the podium to defend Jacobson after she was booed by the crowd. Although there reportedly is footage of the incident, it has yet to surface. Maybe the budding Spielberg is holding onto the footage until they get some money or possibly ESPN has the videotaped evidence and is squashing it... who knows?

After she received her enforced "vacation", Jacobson released the following statement:

"I am very sorry. My remarks about Notre Dame were foolish and insensitive. I respect all religions and did not mean anything derogatory by my poorly chosen words. I also deeply regret the embarrassment I have caused ESPN and Mike and Mike. My actions at the roast were inappropriate and in no way represent who I really am. I have personally apologized to many of the people involved. I won't make excuses for my behavior but do hope that I can be forgiven for such a poor lack of judgment."

The Dana Jacobson incident comes less than a month after Kelly Tilghman was suspended by The Golf Channel for her remark that younger players should "lynch him in a back alley" in reference to Tiger Woods. In my opinion, the Jacobson controversy is slightly different. Her drunken comments, though ill-advised and not clever, were made at a roast and the point of these events is to hurl insults at the guest(s) of honor. As many of you know, the language at a roast can often be foul and vulgar.

I'm not saying that those who are offended by Jacobson's remarks about Jesus shouldn't be. Although her comments didn't offend me, that doesn't mean that others should feel the same way. However, I do wonder if the suspension of Dana Jacobson is an overreaction. What do you think?


Jay said...

I thought it was definitely an overreaction by ESPN. But, ESPN is rather famous for their overreaction to just about anything. And I'm sure ESPN destroyed any video of this. That network is like the KGB the way it keeps tabs on it's employees. It was a company function so I'm sure anyone who has the video knows they'll be fired immediately for releasing the video. ESPN is very protective of it's image.

David Amulet said...

Maybe an overreaction--it was a roast, after all! You shouldn't expect saints at these events. (Literally or figuratively.)

-- david

Candy Minx said...

I think it's weird that roasts now become such situations for these political outbursts.

I think the thing is...a comedian can get away with anything...IF THEY ARE FUNNY.

I don't think what she said was so much it's not funny.

pjazzypar said...

I expect that type of behavior at a roast and I am not shocked by her comments. I certainly think this is an overreaction and comparing Jacobson to Tilghman is like comparing apples and oranges.

X. Dell said...

From what I understand, the point of roasts is to say or do something funny.


"Fuck Notre Dame...Fuck Touchdown Jesus...Fuck Jesus."

to: "I did not mean anything derogatory by my poorly chosen words."

I dunno. Sounds kinda funny to me.

The Rock Chick said...

I think that this happened at a roast is the key issue here, but it sounds, too, like someone who thinks they are being funny, but in reality, are just drunk.

Drunk rarely equals funny to me.

I guess I might have a different opinion if I saw the tape. Hard to say...


Malcolm said...

Thanks to all who weighed in with their thoughts on this incident. If Dana Jacobson was an actual comic, she might have been able to get away with it. Then too, if she was a comic, I would hope she'd have funnier material.

One thing that I found funny was how ESPN has tried to downplay this ... not that I was surprised. Had Dana Jacobson been an employee for some other outlet such as the Fox Sports Network, ESPN (the so-called worldwide leader in sports) would have been all over this story.

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