Tampa Bay Rays sideline reporter fired over racist, anti-Semitic comments

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UPDATE: At least one source is saying Austen has been fired.

12:16 PM: Emily Austen, the sideline reporter for Tampa Bay Rays and Orlando Magic broadcasts on Fox Sports Florida, went on a Facebook livestream for Barstool Sports yesterday. She may be looking for a job come Monday morning.

During the livestream, which has since been deleted, Austen called Cleveland Cavaliers big man Kevin Love a “little bitch” playing up the idea that an athlete who gets a concussion, like Love did the other night, as “soft.” She said she “didn’t even know that Mexicans were that smart,” talked about how “Chinese guys” are good at math and referenced “the way I used to talk to the Jews in Boca” when she was a waitress, playing off of one of the Barstool hosts’ comment that Jews were stingy.

This sort of thing may be par for the course for Barstool, which has never shied away from sexist and racist commentary, but Fox Sports South was none too pleased. They issued this comment this morning:

We were made aware that Emily Austen appeared in a social media video unaffiliated with FOX Sports in which she made insensitive and derogatory comments. She was not speaking on behalf of FOX Sports, nor do we condone any of the statements she made in the video. Emily has been advised that her comments were unacceptable, and she is not scheduled to appear on any upcoming FOX Sports Florida or FOX Sports Sun broadcasts.

I’d read that as a suspension which, after some meetings with Austen, HR and Legal, could turn into a termination. When your job is to be the face of a network, you can’t put egg on it like Austen did here.

(via Deadspin)

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.