FAU Alumni Emily Austen Makes Racist Comments on Live Broadcast
By: Valeria Munoz
Upon appearing on a Facebook Live broadcast, Fox Sports and Sun Sports reporter, Emily Austen, was sidelined from the network due to the potentially racist commentary she gave throughout the broadcast. Although the broadcast was done via Facebook for Barstool Sports, it wasn’t long before her comments went viral. Despite the webcast being only 35 minutes long, Austen highlighted various stereotypes regarding race and religious groups. She didn’t hold back as she mentioned “Jews in Boca” while recalling a personal experience with a “stingy” client during her time as a server according to the Tampa Bay Times.
“She should have thought before she spoke. Although the podcast is typically satirical, she went a bit far with what she thought was appropriate and funny at the time,” said Gary Putnik, editor- in-chief and former sports editor of the Paw Print, the Boca Raton High newspaper.
Austen’s comments weren’t limited to the population in her prior place of residence, where she also made sly jabs at the extent of knowledge of Mexicans and Asians. It seems that the broadcast is known for its informality; however, it quickly turned from innocent remarks into a recap of careless generalizations.
“We might have to hire you because you’re going to get fired,” said Dan Katz, the owner of Barstool Sports, nearing the end of the webcast according to Bleacher Report. Taken lightly at first, Katz’s prediction would turn into the reporter’s reality.
However, the video has become unavailable for viewing at least on Barstool’s Facebook page. Since then, the reporter has taken to another form of social media to present a formal apology.
“I made a terrible mistake. I was in an environment where I was trying to be funny and make a joke, and my comments were insensitive,” Austen said on her latest Instagram post.
She was best known for her sideline coverage of sports teams like the Tampa Bay Rays and Orlando Magic games, as well as presenting for the Inside the Rays programs. Born in Tampa, Austen attended Gaither High School and later graduated from Florida Atlantic University, where she participated in the cross-country and track team. When given the opportunity to venture out of her home-state of Florida, Austen was hired as a production assistant on the Golf Channel and became a sports anchor as well as a reporter for Fox TV in Amarillo, Texas afterwards. She worked her way up the ranks until she was offered a position on the Sun Sports TV cast, which had been previously occupied by Kelly Nash.
The reporter began working for the Fox Sun Sports program in March 26, 2015 evidenced by The Times and now all too soon her contribution to the network has ended thanks to reckless comments and ill-judgement. Fox’s statement cuts ties with Barstool’s broadcast by declaring that “Fox News is unaffiliated with the social media video that Emily Austen makes an appearance in.”
Thus, the reporter is not scheduled to be featured in any programs of the network in the near future as evidenced by the Times. But she holds on to the hope, seen through her Instagram post, that she will “continue to work hard to prove herself and make things right.”