In January, ESPN fired analyst Doug Adler after he compared Venus Williams to a "gorilla" during her Australian Open match. Adler insisted to TMZ that he was referring to "guerrilla" and not "gorilla" when he said, "you see Venus move in and put the guerrilla effect on ... charging." He added that he's "anything but a racist."
But being labeled as such allegedly got to him to the point where he suffered a heart attack Tuesday, as revealed by Fox Sports Radio’s Outkick the Coverage host Clay Travis.
“He had a heart attack, nearly died,” Travis said after getting a hospital call from Adler. “Doctors say that the stress of ESPN firing him and being publicly branded a racist for something he did that wasn’t racist at all exacerbated his heart conditions and led him to have a heart attack.”
Last month, before he suffered the heart attack, stories surfaced about Adler suing ESPN for wrongful termination and feeding into people calling him a racist.
Part of his lawsuit, as reported by Yahoo Sports, alleged that the Worldwide Leader in Sports “bowed to the Twitter universe of haters and those ignorant of tennis who thought [Adler] used the word ‘gorilla’ to describe Venus Williams that day.”
It added: “ESPN wrongfully terminated Adler and has since caused other employers to shun Adler, causing Adler serious financial and emotional harm."
Adler's attorney also told Yahoo that it was ESPN that "recklessly" made the wrongful termination.
“The irony is that Adler called everything correctly and in a professional manner, whereas ESPN did not — they recklessly made the wrong call,” Ring said. “It was not only political correctness gone overboard, but also a cowardly move that ruined a good man’s career.”
In Adler's defense, guerrilla is a widely used term in association with tennis. Evidence of that is Nike's 1995 tennis ad titled "Guerrilla Tennis," starring Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras.
Are you buying Adler saying "guerrilla" and not "gorilla," and that ESPN wrongfully fired him?
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