Anchor called students “pitiful” after their campaign to raise money for kids with cancer
ESPN has suspended Keith Olbermann through the remainder of this week following a heated Twitter exchange the anchor had with Penn State University students Monday night, TheWrap has learned.
“We are aware of the exchange Keith Olbermann had on Twitter last night regarding Penn State. It was completely inappropriate and does not reflect the views of ESPN,” the network said in a statement to TheWrap.
“ESPN and Keith have agreed that he will not host his show for the remainder of this week and will return on Monday,” the network added.
The spat started Monday night when a Penn State student tweeted the sports anchor a link to an article about the school’s fundraising efforts to fight pediatric cancer. The tweet included the Penn State rally cry “We Are…” to which Olbermann responded “…pitiful,” which angry tweeters took as a criticism of the school’s philanthropy efforts.
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) February 23, 2015
Olbermann clarified that he felt Penn State as a whole is “pitiful,” not the fundraising efforts, and went on to slam the complaining students’ intelligence.
I’d like to thank the students and alums of Penn State for proving my point about the mediocrity of their education and ethics.
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) February 24, 2015
The anchor issued a mea culpa Tuesday morning on Twitter. In its statement, ESPN applauded the efforts of Penn State’s THON in raising more than $13 million for kids with cancer.
I apologize for the PSU tweets. I was stupid and childish and way less mature than the students there who did such a great fundraising job. — Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) February 24, 2015
Tony Maglio contributed to this report.