ESPN Cleveland suspends host for derogatory words about Baker Mayfield

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Longtime Cleveland sports journalist Tony Grossi has been suspended from his radio job for a comment he made about Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Grossi, who apparently didn’t realize that his microphone was on and his words were being broadcast on ESPN Radio’s Cleveland affiliate, used a profanity and a slur when discussing all the quarterbacks the Browns have missed out on, leaving them with Mayfield.

“And who do we got? A f–king midget,” Grossi said.

Little People of America calls the word “midget” a derogatory slur, and ESPN Cleveland said in a statement that the word should not be used on its airwaves.

“We are aware of Tony Grossi’s statement about Baker Mayfield,” ESPN Cleveland said in a statement. “The term Tony used is a derogatory slur to describe Little People. . . . We are addressing this matter with Tony directly, and while we normally do not comment on personnel matters, we do want to share that we have made the decision to immediately and indefinitely suspend Tony Grossi.”

Grossi and Mayfield have a long history. Before the Browns drafted Mayfield, Grossi reported that Mayfield had been demanding in his pre-draft visits with NFL teams. Last season, Mayfield stormed away from the media after blasting a question Grossi asked as “dumb.” Grossi later said Mayfield has been disrespectful many times. This time it was Grossi who was disrespectful.

17 responses to “ESPN Cleveland suspends host for derogatory words about Baker Mayfield

  1. Grossi is extremely annoying. Hopefully Browns fans never have to hear his voice again. Such a negative presence about him.

  2. First the Plain Dealer where he trashed the Lerners, to ESPN Cleveland where he’s trashed the starting quarterback. Sensing a pattern here….

  3. For all of you that got after Baker for walking away from Grossi and saying “Jesus Tony.” THIS IS WHY EVERYONE DEFENDED BAKER!!! Grossi is a hack of a reporter who is just there to stir up trouble and why he also was fired from his previous position.

  4. So a talk show guy, with a history with Mayfield, said something Negative about a short Vastly overhyped QB…

    Is this the same QB who everyone thought was going to be good, but played very bad?

    And he called him super short? Doing nothing other than taking a shot at a short QB that he doesn’t like, and he’s suspended? And “indefinitely” just means “depending on the amount of negative feedback we receive.”

    My feelings are hurt, someone help me… 2020 is so soft.

  5. I won’t comment on the proper punishment for this but it’s obviously unprofessional for Grossi to say that on record.

  6. Grossi… again. He’s a troll. Years ago he was with the plain dealer… asked to leave. Worked with the Browns pr department… shown the door. He agitates, that’s his thing. I understand this was a live mic thing but he’s a bitter and sad click baiter and that is all.

  7. Geesh. If every athlete who said something like this were suspended, there would be no games.
    Mayfield is a joke and so are the Browns and that’s what this guy was accurately pointing out.

  8. He was also suspended years back for lying that he had talked to Reggie Rucker for a story when in fact it never happened. Two suspensions and a firing. Nice legacy.

  9. To all those commenting that society is soft and too easily offended: he is supposed to be a professional reporter, not some guy in a bar complaining about his QB over beers with friends. He has 0 credibility if what he says on a hot mike is totally opposite of what he says when he thinks he’s on the air. Jesus Tony.

  10. Grossi is a bitter old man who, like most fans, will dog any move the team makes or any player they draft if it isn’t what HE feels they should do. Didn’t need the hot mic to know how he feels about Mayfield. As for Mayfield being overrated, the man broke the rookie TD record and did it in fourteen games.

  11. Grossi coming off like Mark Madden with comments like that. That’s part of the reason people don’t take Madden seriously.

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