LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – A Bill Walton ESPN joke about Ray Lewis could prompt suspension for Walton. Bill Walton joked about fellow ESPN personality Ray Lewis during a segment about a limo. And despite a retort by his co-anchor, Walton didn’t stop his joking. Moreover, he made the off-comment remarks as the telecast’s advertisers were running a broadcast sponsorship bleed over the screen.
Bill Walton’s ESPN joke came during *’s Sporting Goods and Capital One Cup’s advertising spot. The video shows mascots and cheerleaders coming out of a limo. Dave Pasch says “I think Walton is in the middle of that thing”. But Walton jokes about the limo “I was way in the back with Ray Lewis”. At that point, you can barely hear a retort by Pasch in shock about Walton’s joke.
But Walton continues. “And it was unbelievable how much fun, oh my god, how many people were in there.” As Shawn S. Lealos of Examiner reports “the problem here is that Ray Lewis is a newly minted ESPN employee and earlier this week, ESPN suspended writer Bill Simmons from Twitter for speaking out against an embarrassing segment on “First Take.”"
Pasch even had to say on air “I think we will just dismiss the Ray Lewis comment!” But Walton found no problem with his remarks gleefully adding “oh, what happened to the duck, rescued by the angels at the MGM here.” Based upon the history of ESPN, one code of conduct not allowed is off-hand jokes about other anchors.
The most notable are the 2010 Tony Kornheiser comments about Hannah Storm’s outfit at the time. He said on air “Hannah Storm in a horrifying, horrifying outfit today. She’s got on red go-go boots and a catholic school plaid skirt … way too short for somebody in her 40s or maybe early 50s by now…She’s got on her typically very, very tight shirt.” He even added “I’m not supposed to be critical of ESPN people, so I won’t … but Hannah Storm … come on now! Stop! What are you doing? … She’s what I would call a Holden Caulfield fantasy at this point.” He was eventually suspended for his comments.