I always enjoyed watching Sean Salisbury and John Clayton go at each other during the football season but I no longer get to see that. Salisbury no longer works at ESPN as an NFL analyst due to a childish prank he chose to do back in 2006. He was out at a local bar with some friends from work and he had taken a picture of his “junk” and tricked people into looking at his phone. Funny? I guess in some kind of quasi-gay way but I don’t think he should have been fired for it. He should have just been suspended, like he was, and that should have been the end of the story but it wasn’t. Sean has only recently come clean after vehemently denying the report for a few years. What seems to be the underlying problem with Salisbury is, the truth. It is hard to believe anything that he says and when you are in the media you have to be credible or else no one will listen and that is exactly what Salisbury is going through now.
Sean Salisbury joined 790 The Zone in Atlanta to talk about how the response has been since disclosing some of the indiscretions from the past, why he carried the burden for three and a half years, and why he took the anger management classes.
How the response has been since disclosing some of the indiscretions from the past:
“It has been wonderful. There have been a lot of people that have reached out and the crazy thing is this is three and a half years old. You carry around the burden of a stupid, sophomoric bad judgment mistake with buddies in a bar in the fall of 2006 that you think is funny. Then you are suspended for the days later because a lot of people didn’t think was funny or cursing should I say and I understand that completely and a I have a lot of remorse. Guys, my dad at the same time this incident in the fall of 2006 happened on a cell phone and my dad was dying of cancer and, I am not blaming that on him, all that I am saying is that for every single day for three and a half years since that day the only two things that if you want to call haunted me or that I have thought about it and not a day goes by without it is those two incidents; that and losing my father. It sucks and it still does but I feel good that it is no longer on my chest. You make stupid mistakes and you learn from then and sophomoric. Part of it is that there are people out there that think it happened at work. This never happened at work and that is where the Deadspin thing comes in. To continue to harass, that was something and say stuff that was not true. Had I done something like that in the fall of ’06 , I wouldn’t have worked two more years at a Disney company ,they fire you on the spot for something that silly. I have got a lot of remorse guys. It has devastated me and it has devastated my career. I am just trying to get back at it and I would hope after three and a half years, I am still trying to forgive myself and get rid of that guilt and hope that people would forgive me. The outpouring from a lot of good people in the industry and stuff has been great and say it must be cathartic and it is. It must be one of those things that carry you around. I beat myself up for it and I feel bad enough for it and I just want to get back to one of the few things I know how to do and that is talk sports and football on TV and radio but I appreciate it. It is not more than funny and you are laughing with your buddies, but I am done with it now and hope that we can move on.”
Why carry that burden for three and a half years:
“Well I had a job at CBS radio but contractually moved out of that. You know what guys; when you do a sophomoric, stupid thing like that and after three and a half years you would think that it would kind of go by the wayside. I didn’t put a gun in anybody’s mouth, I am not poopooing anything that I did, but I didn’t put a gun in anybody’s mouth. I didn’t get arrested. I didn’t throw anyone to the ground like: Hey look at this cell phone picture! It was just a silly, stupid thing. Why wait three and a half years? Well, when you are at a position with the job that I had and I won’t throw anybody else under the bus. I just won’t do it and you are in that position and I took that suspension. You hope it goes away and it turns to haunt you from an incident like that for three and a half years, I think I was scared at the time. I don’t think there is any question about it and in this landscape I am scared. I have one of the greatest jobs on the planet and is this enough to cost you your job? I didn’t get fired in that sense. Like I said, it was two years later…”
Whether talking about it would have cost him his job after serving his suspension:
“Well it wasn’t just that. If you talked about it any further you just keep talking about it and discussing it. I don’t think ESPN… Had I had probably said something about it and gone public, I may still be there guys.”
Why he took the anger management classes:
“You are probably speculating on a lot of things. First of all you said that there was something going in with CBS. That is why I will win the lawsuit because I don’t even know what girl in fact there was never even a complaint. I never even spent a minute in human resources at CBS Radio. That had nothing to do with it and if you read the quotes even from Deadspin about what CBS Radio said, the bosses have said that it is absolutely false that they continue to go with it so that is silly. When you say a laissez faire attitude, I work hard at my job. I was married seventeen years and I have raised three kids so I wouldn’t say that I have a reputation for guys known to be hanging out in bars. I don’t drink. I quit drinking. I went to anger management because when you lose your job and you are accused of stuff and I feel miserable for the mistakes that I have made. That is out of remorse make no mistake about it. When I was in that bar it was my fault. Nobody else’s fault. I am not putting that off. I am talking the other things. Yes, it is going to cause me some anger but I brought the anger on myself. In losing my father, a lot of anger and I had a lot of inner-anger. I put myself in anger management to try and fix it. When you make mistakes we all try to repair things that we have done. Some bigger than others. I have had repairing to do and I am continuing to do it and do the best I can with it every single day…”