ESPN 850 Cleveland radio host Sabrina Parr accused Cleveland Browns NFL draft prospect Jabrill Peppers of being on drugs. Now, she is out of a job.
While on ESPN 850’s Real Big Show May 10, Parr inexplicably stated Peppers is “on the lean and the molly,” both of which are slang for drugs, according to sports news site Awful Announcing. She also claimed that Peppers “is not gonna make it” through the season, adding that she thought he was “high out of [his] mind.”
Last month, Peppers “tested positive for a dilute sample,” according to ESPN. He said it was because he overhydrated before the test due to an illness. Because he tested positive, he has to enter Stage One of the NFL’s drug program. (More on what that means here.)
Parr also said Browns player Joe Thomas was “on the lean too.” However, Parr told iMediaEthics by phone that was a joke, and that she regrets that comment. “I don’t have anything bad to say about Joe, and I’m not saying that to kiss up,” she said. “I truly don’t believe that Joe uses any substances.” She then added. “I truly believe Jabrill does.”
iMediaEthics spoke with Parr by phone about her firing and her comments. Parr said the president of the station called her after the the show and told her “I got a little too personal, and he’s not going to be able to allow me on the air anymore.” Parr said she has worked for the station on and off over the past few years, and had been appearing once a week since last year.
She said there wasn’t any discussion or explanation about her firing, and claimed that “the president [of the station] was there the entire show and at any moment he could have come in and made a request.”
Parr told iMediaEthics she hasn’t heard from the Cleveland Browns or the two players in question, which she thought was “surprising.” That said, Parr defended her comments as her belief and opinion. Parr added that she has never met Peppers but made her comments based on her beliefs and what information has been released regarding his drug test.
She claimed that the clips were out-of-context of the full program, and the reason she said specifically that she thought Peppers was “on the lean” or molly was because “we were discussing how the drug of choice has changed…and what’s popular” right now.
iMediaEthics has written to ESPN to ask if it will apologize or retract the claims. ESPN redirected iMediaEthics to the station itself since it doesn’t own ESPN 890 in Cleveland. iMediaEthics also has written to the Browns to ask if either player or the team has a response to her allegations.
Clips of the radio show are on YouTube.
Hat Tip: Steve Bien-Aime