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A FanDuel TV host is in some hot water for a tweet that said cheating and death were part of horse racing.
According to Awful Announcing, the network formerly known as TVG — which airs primarily horse racing under its current FanDuel TV branding — has pulled host Ken Rudolph from the air because of a tweet he posted Monday night.
In it, he seemed to defend the sport, which has come under fire after a string of deaths leading up to this month’s Kentucky Derby, saying that cheating and death are simply part of horse racing.
Rudolph has since deleted the offending tweet, but other users took a screenshot of it.
In a way, I kind of get what he’s trying to say… maybe. Even if I do, it seems one hell of a stretch.
Cheating and death are part of the sport, they’re just negative parts that most people want to try to avoid or remove if possible.
Saying they should be shrugged off is an odd take, seeing as other sports that had cheating or death as part of their DNA did what they could to curtail them.
Baseball instituted drug testing when steroid use got out of control. NASCAR made HANS devices mandatory after Dale Earnhardt and several other drivers died from basilar skull fractures.
They didn’t say, “Well, that’s part of the sport; let’s embrace it.”
Enjoying or celebrating a sport doesn’t mean overlooking blatant problems.
Rudolph Apologized, But FanDuel Pulled Him Off The Air
Rudolph who has been with the channel since 1999, deleted that tweet and then posted an apology the next day.
That wasn’t enough for his employer, which has a lot of skin in the game when it comes to betting and horse racing. Having on-air talent saying cheating and death are just par for the course isn’t a great look.
Still, FanDuel TV decided to take Rudolph out of the on-air rotation “pending a full review of this matter.”
I’m not sure what there is to review. Seems cut and dry to me.
I don’t like the idea of one off-base tweet jeopardizing someone’s employment or career either. However, this seems to be another instance of a gaming company not giving their on-air talent much margin for error because of its need to prioritize its primary business interests.
We saw similar sentiments when Penn Entertainment fired Barstool personality Ben Mintz after he seemed to accidentally use a racial slur while reading rap lyrics. Barstool founder Dave Portnoy publicly expressed his disagreement with the decision and claimed that Mintz had been let go because Penn was concerned it would jeopardize their gambling licenses.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle