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Boston Globe Suspends Writer

Bob Ryan punished for remarks he made on television about Jason Kidd's wife.

May 07, 2003|From Associated Press

Boston Globe sports columnist Bob Ryan was suspended without pay for a month Tuesday for saying on television that Jason Kidd's wife needed someone to "smack her."

"Bob Ryan's comments were a clear and egregious violation of the standards of the Boston Globe," Globe Editor Martin Baron said in a statement. "Bob has been told in no uncertain terms that his remarks were offensive and unacceptable."

Ryan also was barred from appearing on radio or TV for one month.

New Jersey Net Coach Byron Scott urged the Globe to fire Ryan, who made the comments Sunday night on WBZ-TV's "Sports Final" show before the Nets and the Boston Celtics began their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Kidd, the Nets' All-Star guard, said Boston fans insulted his wife and 3-year-old son during the playoffs last season. Kidd was taunted with chants of "wife beater," referring to 2001 charges, later dropped, that he hit his wife, Joumana.

Ryan made the comments as he and host Bob Lobel talked about the rematch and whether the Kidds will receive similar treatment when the teams play at Boston on Friday.

Ryan said Kidd should expect taunts from the crowd, then criticized the Kidds for using their son "as a prop" and called Joumana Kidd an "exhibitionist."

Then, in a comment that was not picked up clearly on tape, he said: "Oh, great. I mean she needs [inaudible] to smack her."

Lobel immediately interrupted Ryan, asking him to retract the statement.

"You just don't want to smack her, you don't mean to say that. No, do you, really? Tell me you don't," Lobel said.

"Why should I say anything different than I said all last playoffs last year?" Ryan said.

But in a statement Tuesday, Ryan apologized for the "inappropriate and offensive remark."

"It was, of course, atrocious judgment on my part," he said. "I wish to state clearly that I am aware of the very real problem of violence against women in our society, and that in no way is it a joking matter."

Scott said Ryan "should be out of a job."

Kidd called the comments "unfortunate" and said his wife "felt sorry if she offended [Ryan] in any way."

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