Ex-Commentator Fired For Venus Williams’ Remark Sues ESPN

Doug Adler, former ESPN sports commentator, fired for a remark about Venus Williams during the Australian Open, sued the sports network for wrongful termination. Adler maintains he was describing Williams’ aggressive playing style as “guerrilla” tactics and not comparing her with a “gorilla.”

Adler apologized for his poor word choice after viewers complained about his remarks. At the time Adler said he was speaking about Williams’ tactics and strategy and “simply and inadvertently chose the wrong word to describe her play.”

Adler claims “emotional distress” in the filing in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging he was wrongly branded a racist and has lost other TV opportunities because of the controversy. Adler is seeking punitive financial damages in the lawsuit, but doesn’t name an amount.

In a statement emailed in January to The Associated Press, ESPN said it had pulled Adler from broadcasts.

“During an Australian Open stream on ESPN3, Doug Adler should have been more careful in his word selection. He apologized and we have removed him from his remaining assignments,” the statement read.


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I am a digital content creator and have worked in the digital space for more than ten years. "Robinrazzi" is a nickname given from a former colleague because I'm known for having a camera in hand at all times. I have traveled the world covering entertainment events, celebrities and anything trending. I earned my BA in Communications from Penn State and a MS in Marketing from Johns Hopkins University. I currently serve as Director of Digital Content for WHUR and the Howard University Radio Network.

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