Las Vegas-based handicapper Kelly Stewart was fired from ESPN a month after the network shut her down, apparently for using anti-gay slurs on Twitter nine years ago.
Stewart, a longtime Review Journal contributor, confirmed the news on Twitter and posted a detailed statement apologizing for the language while saying it was in response to online attacks against her.
“ESPN informed me that they terminated my contract because of deleted tweets from 2012,” the statement begins. “I know the words I have used are unacceptable and hurtful, and I am terribly sorry for this misjudgment, but I cannot apologize for standing up to the vicious attacks I and so many others have made female personalities suffer from anonymous online trolls. ”
I wanted to make a statement about today’s news so that you can see all of my thoughts. pic.twitter.com/MvCsLlHhLw
– Kelly (@kellyinvegas) June 4, 2021
Screenshots of Stewart’s tweets show how she used anti-gay slurs in replies to people criticizing her on Twitter.
FrontOfficeSports.com said an ESPN spokesperson confirmed Stewart’s departure but declined to explain the rationale.
In her statement, Stewart cited “heinous, threatening and misogynist attacks by men who were threatened by a woman who dared to make a living in the predominantly male sports gambling industry.”
“I responded to their threats with violence and sexist slurs using the most powerful language I could imagine,” she said. “A decade later, I wish I hadn’t made the decision to respond to her vitriol with my own, but I can’t change my past.”
Stewart was scheduled to serve as an analyst for Daily Wager, the hour-long sports betting news and information show on ESPN2 that airs from the ESPN studio at the Linq Hotel. It should also appear on SportsCenter, the Daily Wager podcast, and other ESPN programs and sports betting platforms.
Stewart had planned to work at ESPN this month.
Contact Jim Barnes at [email protected] or 702-383-0277. Follow @JimBarnesLV on Twitter.