Renee Gork, a radio personality for KAKS in northwest Arkansas, was fired for wearing a Florida Gators hat to an Arkansas Razorback press conference. She asked Razorback coach Bobby Petrino a question, which he answered then said, “And that will be the last question I answer with that hat on.”
Keep in mind, KAKS per its General Manager, Dan Storrs, “This radio station is Hog Sports Radio. We are very biased. We support the Razorbacks 100 percent.” My question to Dan Storrs is, why, if your radio station is 100% behind the Razorbacks, would you hire a Florida graduate to be part of your sports programming? I would be afraid that her Gator-love would eventually come out, especially if that person was going to be on the air at any point.
Gork explained the mistake of wearing the hat as an accident. She said it was raining and she just grabbed a hat without really thinking about it. Gork also planned on apologizing to Coach Petrino and Arkansas but never got the chance.
Should she have apologized? Yes. If you work for someone in the sporting world as a journalist, an analyst or a personality, you’re supposed to keep your homerism out of everything, but especially if the company you work for is “100% behind” a certain team (can you imagine a lifelong Yankee fan, getting a job with NESN, and then showing up to a Red Sox press conference with NESN credentials and a Yankee hat?). If that job involves college football in the SEC, you really have to be careful because of how close to their hearts all the players, coaches and fans hold their respective teams. Your homerism is allowed on your own time, when you’re on the company dime, you’re homerism needs to be left at home.
Whether it was an honest mistake or not (in this day and age, I don’t trust anyone as far as I can throw them, especially if they are famous, a celebrity, an athlete or a “radio personality”), she should not have been fired. She should have apologized and been reprimanded by her employer and promised to never let it happen again.
What do you think? Should she have been fired? Should she have been punished in some other way?