- Sports betting handicapper Kelly Stewart has been fired from ESPN before her job was set to begin next month.
- Stewart was terminated due to homophobic tweets she posted nine years ago.
- She maintains that she was simply standing up for herself as a woman in a male-dominated field, although she is apologetic toward her word choices.
LAS VEGAS – Handicapper turned sports betting analyst Kelly Stewart was fired by ESPN on Friday after deleted tweets from 2012 surfaced where Stewart used homophobic slurs. Stewart was hired by ESPN last month and was slated to begin her job next month. However, that will no longer happen as the network has terminated her contract.
“ESPN has notified me that they terminated my contract due to deleted tweets from 2012,” tweeted Stewart .“I know the words I used are unacceptable and hurtful and I am terribly sorry for this lapse in judgment, but I cannot apologize for standing up to the vicious attacks I, and so many other female personalities, endure from anonymous online trolls.”
The Job That Never Was
Stewart was going to be an analyst for multiple regulated sports betting platforms owned by ESPN, including a spot on the Daily Wager podcast. The budding star, while apologetic for her behavior, also stated that she was defending herself against the attacks put upon her via the social media platform for being a woman in a male-dominated field.
ESPN confirmed the firing of Stewart but offered no reasoning for their decision. Meanwhile, Stewart continues to defend her actions in spite of her poor choice of words, which she has completely owned up to.
“I responded to their threats of violence and sexist insults with the most powerful language I could think to use,” said Stewart. “A decade later, I wish I hadn’t made the decision to respond to their vitriol with my own, but I cannot change my past.”
The tweets occurred from March to July of 2012. Three of the four screenshots that have been brought to the attention of the press were in clear response to people putting Stewart down, however, one appears to be unclear as to whether she said it on her own or as a defensive reply to someone else’s comments.
Stewart runs her own sports betting website called “Kelly in Vegas” that offers members advice on what to wager on. She also has spots with Wager Talk, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and the Bleacher Report.
Based on her own knowledge, she was able to win the “Mini-Contest” NFL handicapping challenge in 2014 with Westgate’s SuperContest. Since then, she has become a rising name in the industry. The ESPN job was supposed to skyrocket her presence in the sports betting industry but it is no longer a part of the handicapper’s career trajectory.
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News tags: Bleacher Report | ESPN | Kelly In Vegas | Kelly Stewart | Las Vegas Review-Journal | NFL | Twitter | Wager Talk | Westgate’s SuperContest
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.