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Sportscaster Canned. Did Barbie Comments Go Too Far?

Don Geronimo, a Washington, D.C.-based sports radio host, was fired Saturday after comments he made about a female TV reporter who was covering the Washington Commanders. Michael Sorce, meanwhile, is the real name for Geronimo.

The remarks that were made by Geronimo towards WUSA9 reporter Sharla McBride led to the Commanders barring iHeartMedia – the parent company of WBIG Radio – from training camp facilities in Ashburn, Virginia.

On Thursday, Geronimo was with co-host Crash Young when he made the remark, “Hey look, Barbie’s here. Hi, Barbie girl. I’m guessing she’s a cheerleader.” Young followed it up by saying that he had thought McBride was “tight” and Geronimo added that he thought she was a “cheerleader.”

The remarks left McBride feeling “hurt” and “insulted.” She went on to tell ESPN, “In my 17 years as a professional journalist, I have never been disrespected in such a blatant manner while trying to do my job. Their words were sexist and misogynistic. No woman should experience this in the workplace, and I appreciate the Commanders’ swift response in handling this matter.”

The Commanders owner Josh Harris and team president Jason Wright were outraged when they heard of Geronimo’s remarks and took immediate action.

“We have worked hard to ensure that everyone feels safe and respected in our workplace, and we took swift action when we learned that an employee of our partner iHeart made sexually disparaging remarks to and about a member of the media while she was broadcasting live from training camp yesterday,” a team spokesperson told WUSA9.

The swift action by the Commanders led to Geronimo’s firing by iHeartMedia on Saturday.

“After an internal review, Don Geronimo is no longer an employee of WBIG,” iHeartMedia’s D.C. Region President Aaron Hyland said in a statement to the Washington Post. “We take matters of this nature very seriously and this behavior does not align with our core values.”

Geronimo himself has yet to comment on the situation, having only tweeted that he was consulting with his attorneys and advisers on his next step.

It appears that the Washington Commanders and iHeartMedia have taken a strong stance on the situation, and it’s clear that there’s no place for such behavior in the workplace. Hopefully McBride’s experience will be a warning to others in the future to think twice before they make similar remarks.

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