Doug Adler, ESPN settle lawsuit over Venus Williams gorilla/guerrilla comment - iMediaEthics
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(Credit: ESPN, Facebook)

Doug Adler resolved his case against ESPN for firing him in 2017, alleging he compared Venus Williams to “a gorilla.”

As iMediaEthics reported, in 2017 Adler apologized when some viewers thought he called Williams’ performance during the Australian Open like a gorilla. Adler, however, said he was referring to guerrilla-like playing. “A ‘guerrilla’ move in tennis has become a good, concise description of a player who was mostly playing from the baseline making a sudden, unexpected rush to the net — a surprise, an ambush, a la guerrilla tactics,” the New York Post‘s Phil Mushnick reported at the time.

Adler was fired over his comment and had a heart attack the next month. He sued the network for wrongful termination of employment and intentional infliction of emotional stress.

An ESPN spokesperson told iMediaEthics by e-mail, “We have amicably resolved our dispute with Doug Adler.”

“Sources claim — without ESPN’s dispute — that Adler received a monetary settlement and has even been returned to ESPN’s payroll and could return to work tennis events for the network,” according to the New York Post. “No official apology was granted him, but such an agreement certainly leans toward ESPN’s tacit admission that Adler was done wrong.”

iMediaEthics has written to Adler’s lawyer for more information about the resolution.

Hat Tip: Steve Bien-Aime

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Doug Adler, ESPN settle lawsuit over Venus Williams gorilla/guerrilla comment

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