CNN Sports Anchor Rips Radio Host Fired After Calling Woman Broadcaster ‘Barbie’: ‘Had History Of Lewd Comments’


CNN Sports Anchor Rachel Nichols ripped into radio host Don Geromino, who was fired after calling  WUSA-TV anchor Sharla McBride “Barbie girl” and making other demeaning remarks about her.

During a broadcast from Washington Commanders training camp last week, Geronimo called McBride a “chick” and made remarks about her appearance to co-host Crash Young:

DON GERONIMO, WBIG HOST (voice-over): Hi, Barbie girl. Hi there. I’m guessing she’s a cheerleader. There’s that chick that you thought said was tight.

CRASH YOUNG (voice-over): Yeah, I screamed tight when —

GERONIMO (voice-over): I think she’s — I think she’s a sportscaster at Channel 9.

CRASH YOUNG (voice-over): Yeah.

GERONIMO (voice-over): Or Channel 7.

CRASH YOUNG (voice-over): Yeah, she’s familiar.

GERONIMO (voice-over): I thought she was a cheerleader.

On Monday night’s edition of CNN Tonight, anchor Alisyn Camerota played audio of those remarks, and asked Nichols to weigh in. Nichols provided some important context, and shared her own experience with similar treatment as a woman in sports:

CAMEROTA: So, I mean, what was your reaction and particularly to how fast the radio station responded?

NICHOLS: Yeah, I mean, look, I was really bummed, man, to hear it. Aren’t we past this? Aren’t we done with this? Of course, we’re not. And that is always so disappointing.

And you heard the way he talked about her, right? This wasn’t just some offhanded comment. This was very extensively demeaning her, talking about how she looked, that she’s tight, that she’s a chick, I thought she was a cheerleader. This is a working journalist. This is a person who came to work that day. And this is what happened to her.

And it’s just so frustrating when you hear this kind of stuff because we ask women in TV, all of us, and specifically in sports TV, look attractive, right? You tell people, you want to be TV-ready, you want to be presentable, and then you criticize her for looking attractive. That is a tough position to put a woman in.

And the irony is that the “Barbie” movie that you refer to addresses this, right? There’s this great moment in the “Barbie” movie where America Ferrera is saying that women are supposed to be — they’re supposed to look like this, but then are criticized if they do look like that. That is exactly what happened here.

And it’s just frustrating if you are working hard to have respectability, to show that you know your stuff, to have someone who’s a voice of the team, that’s what he was, he was a team broadcaster, say these things about you, and then you were expected to be in on the joke, which is also really frustrating because then you have to be a partner to someone demeaning you, and that’s worse.

So, I’m really happy to see that everybody involved saw this for what it was.

CAMEROTA: I knew you would have an interesting perspective on this because having been in sports television for so long, as you have, I am guessing you have some personal experience with comments like this.

NICHOLS: Yes. I’ve been called sideline Barbie, which was really fun. I have — you know, look, I grew up in the Washington, D.C. area, and I have listened to this radio host, Don Geronimo, since before I was a teenager. He has a history of lewd comments about women. And I think that’s part of the context that might be missing from some of the national stories here.

This wasn’t done in a vacuum. He wasn’t let go of his job in a vacuum. Not only does he have a personal history, but more importantly, Alisyn, the team has a history that they’re battling with here.

Watch above via CNN Tonight.

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