By Gerard Braud –
The clock is ticking for ESPN. Will they put Britt McHenry back on the air after a 7-day suspension due to her viral video rant?
In many crisis situations, an expert might counsel both the offender and her employee on ways to 1) say I’m sorry and 2) to make amends. In many crisis situations the public is willing to 1) forgive and 2) give a person a second chance.
This crisis is different. This is a crisis of character that speaks to the core of who 1) Britt McHenry is and 2) the character of the ESPN sports network and its executive staff.
Character is doing the right thing, regardless of whether anyone sees you; regardless of whether you are in public or private.
The interesting twist to the Britt McHenry saga can be found by reading the comments section on any website that has run a story about her rant. The overwhelming consensus is that this could never be a one-time situation. The consensus is that the words McHenry used shows she has an ego and superiority complex that is difficult for most humans to fathom.
In case you don’t remember the words she said to the clerk at the towing company that towed her car include:
“I’m in the news sweetheart and I will fu*&ing sue this place.”
“That’s why I have a degree and you don’t.”
“With no education, no skill set, just wanted to clarify that.”
“Do you feel good about your job? So I could be a college drop out and do the same thing.”
“Maybe if I was missing some teeth they would hire me huh?”
“Oh, like yours cause they look so stunning. Cause I’m on television and you’re in a fu*King trailer honey. Lose some weight baby girl.”
There is room the collective hearts of viewers to forgive someone who has committed a wrong. But forgiveness does not have to go hand in hand with employing someone with such a flawed character, especially when there are many other people with more talent and a nicer personality who can do the job the McHenry was blessed to have.
ESPN – Your character is on the line as much as McHenry’s character is on the line.
ESPN – I hope you set an example for your viewers and your employees by not keeping McHenry on the air or on your payroll.
To keep her on the air sends a message that, “This was a close call and I’ll have to be careful not to get caught again.” To terminate her sends a message that it is time for her to reflect on who she is and whether she can truly change her ways.