Kelly Stewart, the betting analyst for ESPN, has been fired after a group of social media users found a series of controversial tweets in an extremely deep dive back to her 2012 timeline.
As reported by Front Office Sports, the termination of Kelly Stewart rolls out just a single month after ESPN releases the announcement of her hiring.
“An ESPN spokesman confirmed Stewart was no longer with the network on Friday. Sources tell Front Office Sports that her departure was related to old Twitter messages and posts that were flagged after ESPN brought her on board. ESPN declined to state the reason she’s no longer at the network,” stated the news outlet.
The tweets in question from Stewart’s timeline were from 2012 and used a seemingly anti-gay slur in response to a group of people criticizing woman in sports media.
— Logan Matthews (@logan_matthews9) May 6, 2021
Almost directly after the news of her termination went public, Stewart issued a statement on her Twitter. She stated that her words from almost a decade ago were “unacceptable and hurtful,” and making note that she was already previously punished for her comments.
“ESPN has notified me that they terminated my contract due to deleted tweets from 2012,” Stewart stated. “I know the words I used are unacceptable and hurtful and I am terribly sorry for this lapse in judgment, but I cannot apologize for standing up to the vicious attacks I, and so many other female personalities, endure from anonymous online trolls.”
“I wish ESPN had been willing to stand behind me, particularly because I’d already been suspended for these Tweets by another company several years ago, but I cannot control their decision. I can only say I’m sorry for the person I was and some of the mistakes I made in my youth,” she continued.
Stewart pressed that she is not proud of her decisions in the past at all, stating she is “a better person now than I was a decade ago.”
Stewart was originally hired to be a betting analyst for ESPN’s Daily Wager podcast and was slated to be part of the networks expanding betting coverage. “Having an experienced voice like Kelly Stewart join us better positions us to expand our sports betting content going forward,” stated ESPN senior coordinating producer, Scott Clark, in a press release. “She’ll be an important asset to all that we are doing in the space and like the rest of our sports betting team, she will be busy.”
“Based in Las Vegas, Stewart has built up a reputation as one of the sports betting industry’s top handicappers over the last decade. Most recently, she’s been a sports betting analyst for Bleacher Report and WagerTalk.com,” reported Front Office Sports. “She’s also contributed to ESPN Radio in Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Review-Journal.”