ESPN has issued a one-week suspension to anchorwoman Dana Jacobson for a profane rant at a celebrity roast in which she said, “F— Jesus,” according to sources.
The Chicago Tribune said the sports TV network declined to confirm the suspension, but ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said, “Her actions and comments were inappropriate and we’ve dealt with it.”
The news came one day after WND reported a Catholic advocacy group charged the sports TV network had failed to take appropriate action and did not offer a sufficient apology for Jacobson’s outburst, in which she “attacked Jesus Christ.”
Jacobson, reportedly intoxicated, was speaking Jan. 11 at an event in Atlantic City, N.J., to honor ESPN Radio personalities Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic when she unleashed a tirade, saying, “F— Notre Dame,” “F— Touchdown Jesus” and finally “F— Jesus.”
“Touchdown Jesus” is the popular moniker for a mural on Notre Dame’s library featuring Jesus raising his arms.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue said yesterday he pressed ESPN on the issue and received an e-mail with an unsatisfactory statement by Jacobson.
The statement said, in part, “My remarks about Notre Dame were foolish and insensitive. I respect all religions and did not mean anything derogatory by my poorly chosen words.”
Donohue contended the response “fails on several counts.”
“First, there is no evidence that ESPN is taking this matter seriously,” he said prior to today’s news. “Are we to believe that her hate speech is of no consequence?”
Donohue argued Jacobson’s comments were at a public event where she represented ESPN.
Secondly, he pointed out, racist remarks by the late sports commentator Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder during a luncheon interview in 1988 resulted in his prompt firing by CBS, despite an apology.
Donohue added, “It is also important to note that being drunk didn’t help Mel Gibson’s case when he made bigoted remarks about Jews.”
Finally, the Catholic leader said, “By far the most offensive thing she said, ‘F— Jesus,’ isn’t even addressed!”
“It is obvious, then, that neither Jacobson nor ESPN is dealing with this matter in a professional way,” Donohue declared. “To put this issue behind them, ESPN must deal with this issue quickly, publicly and fairly, something it has yet to do. After all, most Christians are yet unaware of this event, but once they learn of it, they are sure to demand accountability.”
As WND reported in September, Kathy Griffin, the star of the Bravo show “My Life on the D-List,” stirred controversy when she used her appearance on the Emmy Awards program to tell Jesus to “suck it” and to claim full credit for the honor for herself.