Friday, November 17, 2017
TV and Radio_sports

Questionable comments cause Fox Sports to boot Rays sideline reporter Emily Austen

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ST. PETERSBURG — Emily Austen, a sideline reporter on Rays television broadcasts, will no longer appear on Fox Sports Sun because of questionable comments the Tampa native made on the Facebook Live page for Barstool Sports, a sports website.

During a 35-minute video with three men, Austen made several controversial comments, among them:

• That she "didn't even know that Mexicans were that smart.''

• How the "Chinese guy is always the smartest guy in math class.''

• About how she "used to talk to Jews in Boca'' when she was a server, saying one customer was "stingy'' because he complained about how she poured his beer and that "they would complain and b---- about everything.''

Austen, 27, also referred to Cleveland Cavaliers basketball player Kevin Love as a "little b - - - -.''

Austen was a sideline reporter on Rays and Magic games, and she hosted such programs as Inside the Rays. A contract employee, meaning she worked and was paid per event, Austen worked for Fox Sports Florida and Fox Sports Sun. She was not employed or paid by the Rays.

In a statement, Steve Tello, general manager/senior vice president of Fox Sports Florida, said, "We were made aware that Emily Austen appeared in a social media video unaffiliated with Fox Sports in which she made insensitive and derogatory comments. She was not speaking on behalf of Fox Sports, nor do we condone any of the statements she made in the video. Emily has been advised that her comments were unacceptable, and she is not scheduled to appear on any upcoming Fox Sports Florida or Fox Sports Sun broadcasts."

Austen did not respond to messages asking for comment.

Austen is a graduate of Tampa's Gaither High School and Florida Atlantic University, when she was known as Emily Seymore.

In their statement, the Rays said, "The Rays fully support Fox Sport Sun's decision regarding Emily Austen.''

The video no longer appears on Barstool Sports' Facebook page, but several websites, including deadspin.com, put portions of the video on their sites.

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