August 17, 2010

Gators Cap Costs Razorbacks Reporter Her Job: A radio reporter for a sports station devoted to the Arkansas Razorbacks has been fired after wearing a Florida Gators baseball cap during a press conference with Razorbacks head coach Bobby Petrino. Renee Gork, a Florida alumnus working for KAKS, said she wore the hat by mistake. "This radio station is Hog Sports Radio," said her now former boss Dan Storrs. "We are very biased."

posted by rcade to football at 06:18 PM - 29 comments

Seems a bit much. Was she doing a good job? Is that even a consideration? People shouldn't be so slavish to a perception.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:28 PM on August 17

Umm, they are rivals and that was either provocative or stupid. The radio station shouldn't have hired anyone that would own a Gators hat in the first place. We take our football rivalries very seriously.

posted by bperk at 06:32 PM on August 17

She went to Florida. If she's a good reporter, firing her over a mistake that could easily be laughed off is stupid. If I was Petrino, and this wasn't my doing, I'd be pissed the station made it look like I called for her head.

posted by rcade at 06:38 PM on August 17

Why should they laugh it off? She showed complete disrespect for the person who was being interviewed. We have a Redskins network here and if a reporter interviewed Shanahan with a Cowboys hat on he/she is a moron. People get fired for making big and little mistakes all the time. This was a minor mistake to some, but a big mistake to the ones who mattered.

posted by bperk at 06:51 PM on August 17

I think getting fired over a hat is a little extreme. Did he ask her to remove it and she defied him?

posted by irunfromclones at 07:26 PM on August 17

Most importantly, the reporter clearly stated that she just threw the hat on because it was readily available. She gives no indication that she was trying to get a rise out of the coach or cause a stir. It was raining. She threw on a ball cap from her alma mater. Perhaps thoughtless and demonstrating a lack of understanding of SEC football, but a pretty fucking minor transgression in the grand scheme of life.

The radio station shouldn't have hired anyone that would own a Gators hat in the first place.

Maybe the station's wardrobe inspector was off the day they hired a seemingly competent individual to do a job that ostensibly calls for objectivity.

posted by tahoemoj at 08:41 PM on August 17

Maybe the station's wardrobe inspector was off the day they hired a seemingly competent individual to do a job that ostensibly calls for objectivity.

Mistake or not, I wouldn't think a reporter showing up wearing any school's cap would be very objective.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:12 PM on August 17

Yet this "reporter" still has a job...

Sorry, it's a 2 year old story, and most of the video links in it no longer work...

posted by MeatSaber at 09:13 PM on August 17

Life (sorta) imitating art.

posted by grum@work at 09:41 PM on August 17

Most women I know don't just throw on a hat when they are on the way out the door, especially if she is going to a news conference. In my opinion she was trying to make a statement or be seen. She was trying to draw attention to herself and she got it.

posted by sgtcookzane at 11:57 PM on August 17

Unprofessionalism by the reporter and the radio station, in my opinion. Dumbasses.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 01:00 AM on August 18

Fired over a hat? Really, a freaking hat? And there are people who are in agreement with this? Wow...just, wow. She is a graduate of the University of Florida, and more than likely, proud of her school. Why the f--k shouldn't she wear a Gators hat. Petrino needs to learn a thing or two about respect, and the station caved to pressure from a bunch of "offended" but nonetheless idiotic Arkansas fans. Hope she sues for wrongful termination and wins a bunch of cash.

posted by cletus7777 at 10:05 AM on August 18

Arkansas has bigger problems than hats. They have never won an SEC championship and last won a division four years ago, and they're coached by one of the most disloyal job hoppers in the game.

posted by rcade at 10:09 AM on August 18

to me it's common sense that she was fired. That would be like an HP employee wearing a Dell shirt to an HP press conference.

This isn't like she was wearing it in her own time walking around the grocery store.

posted by bdaddy at 11:02 AM on August 18

The firing is a bit extreme, but common sense on the reporter's end should make her realize she shouldn't wear a rival's hat to another school's press conference. And the B.S. about just throwing a hat on as she ran out the door is ridiculous. I work at a school and sometimes kids are found to have small knives on them, or in their pockets, and when questioned the always say, "Oh, I just threw this (coat or jeans, etc) on and didn't know what was in the pockets." Be more aware of what you're doing. It comes across like a person who was looking to be funny, but found it wasn't. And if she's a sports reporter covering the SEC and doesn't realize wearing a freakin' Florida anything to another SEC school may cause problems, then she shouldn't be working the job.

posted by dyams at 11:09 AM on August 18

I agree with firing her as she is either incredibly stupid or did it deliberately. In either case grounds for dismissal.

posted by Atheist at 12:07 PM on August 18

To me there's 3 parties involved here, with differing levels of accountability :
The reporter : dumb, dumb, dumb ... should expect to be disciplined in some fashion, but it doesn't seem to me to be a deliberate attention-seeking act. If nothing else, it sounds like she has two young kids. I don't think she's oblivious enough to the environment where she wouldn't recognize that an intentional affront to the Razorbacks may lead to some uncomfortable situations for her whole family. Still, not lose your livelihood-worthy.
The radio station : It might be refreshing to see a radio station stick behind its employee. However, whether it speaks to a bigger problem is another issue, but I can believe that the radio station feared that this would put themselves at a disadvantage within the university sports program and would thus lead to their inability to cover the team as it should, which would lead to a competitive disadvantage in their market.
The university/football program/Petrino : They come out smelling the worst, to me personally. I don't have inside knowledge, but it would take a lot of convincing to get me to think that some facet of the university didn't put some pressure on the radio station. It may not have been a direct "you fire this broad", but it could've easily been "see, this is the kind of thing that makes us wonder if we want to give your station full access to our team". And to let a hat, regardless of the level of unprofessionalism or stupidity on the part of the reporter, get you this riled up ... I fear it says something about your program.

posted by littleLebowski at 12:53 PM on August 18

I'd be surprised if the university had to put pressure on the radio station. It's just as likely that the radio station found out and was embarrassed and made a preemptive move. They have to worry about their diehard fans more than the university.

posted by bperk at 01:03 PM on August 18

Stupid question: How many people listening to the interview on the radio station actually saw the hat?

posted by Howard_T at 01:25 PM on August 18

How many people listening to the interview on the radio station actually saw the hat?

Maybe it was simulcast.

posted by BornIcon at 01:53 PM on August 18

To people saying "Its just a hat, how can you get fired over just a hat," you have to look at the big picture. You shouldn't think of it as the hat got her fired, but that her unprofessionalism got her fired. As a reporter, you must be really daft if you don't think wearing the hat was a big deal. For God's sake, you work at Hog Sports Radio, how do you think the station is going to react when the person they choose to represent themselves wears the rivals logos? Happy? I don't think so. Disrespected? 100%.

I would say she got fired for disrespecting the radio stations loyalty to Arkansas more than she did for disrespecting Petrino.

BTW, I do feel bad that she lost a job over this when it sounds like she is very remorseful, but you would've hoped she had the common sense to avoid this in the first place.

posted by Andy1087 at 02:49 PM on August 18

We really like firings on the Internet.

posted by rcade at 02:53 PM on August 18

We really like firings on the Internet.

yep. Especially when there are so many people who are out of work who would be more than happy to NOT wear a competitor's branding in order to have/maintain a job.

posted by bdaddy at 03:53 PM on August 18

College teams that play each other are competitors on the field, but it's not like one is going to wipe the other out of business and take over its market. They depend on each other and collaborate to mutual benefit in the SEC.

posted by rcade at 03:57 PM on August 18

You shouldn't think of it as the hat got her fired, but that her unprofessionalism got her fired.

The thing I'm not clear on is: did she put the hat on simply because it was raining as suggested above or no? I haven't read the article either due to my personal policy of not reading about events south of the Mason-Dixon Line, but it seems a fair number of my fellow illiterate-by-choice brethren have convicted her without even reading any of the comments here. And that feels like a party foul.

Just kidding, I don't read anyone's comments either.

posted by yerfatma at 05:03 PM on August 18

Girl reporters? What's next, Muslamic football teams? This is not the America I grew up in.

posted by holden at 06:15 PM on August 18

Muslamic? Really?

posted by MeatSaber at 08:24 PM on August 18

Muslamic? Really?

Geez, are you some sort of moran? Didn't you see the thread about the Arabian soccer team that needed to have time off from practice for Kwanzaa? I may not be the most PC person in the world, but give me a break -- my granddad didn't fight some foreign dudes so people could piss on the flag and I would have to put up with this shit.

posted by holden at 09:00 PM on August 18

And I didn't have sex with holden's granpappy on top of an American flag on pay-per-view television just for money. There were some 2nd Amendment issues at play as well.

posted by yerfatma at 11:11 PM on August 18

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.