ESPN Bans Olbermann for a Week After’Completely Inappropriate’ Twitter Exchange

2013 Summer TCA Tour - Day 1

Keith Olbermann in Beverly Hills, California.

Photographer: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

(Bloomberg) — ESPN has suspended Keith Olbermann from his
late-night show for the rest of the week for getting into a
“completely inappropriate” exchange on Twitter on Monday
regarding Penn State University.

Olbermann took to Twitter to apologize a day after calling
Penn State “pitiful” and then engaging several of the school’s
alumni and supporters. The incident started after a Twitter user
sent him a link about a pediatric cancer fundraiser at the
school that raised more than $13 million.

When the woman included the message, “We Are!” — part of
the school’s “We Are… Penn State” slogan — Olbermann
responded with “Pathetic.” Olbermann then repeatedly insulted
Penn State supporters who criticized him.

“I was stupid and childish and way less mature than the
students there who did such a great fundraising job,” Olbermann
wrote on his Twitter account yesterday.

Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN said in a statement that Olbermann
won’t return to host his show on ESPN2 until next week.

Olbermann last month included Penn State in the “World’s
Worst in Sports” segment on his show, in which he provides
insight, analysis and opinion on current sports news. Olbermann
slammed the school’s “reprehensible bargain” with the National
Collegiate Athletic Association to restore 111 wins stripped
from late football coach Joe Paterno after the child sex-abuse
scandal involving former assistant Jerry Sandusky.

“This is Joe Paterno’s legacy. This is Penn State’s
legacy,” Olbermann said on his show last month. “Football was
more important to them than saving children.”

ESPN in September suspended commentator Bill Simmons for
three weeks after he called National Football League
Commissioner Roger Goodell a liar during a podcast.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Erik Matuszewski in New York at

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Michael Sillup at
Jay Beberman