CLEVELAND (WJW)-- Who could forget Baker Mayfield walking out on reporters after a question from ESPN Cleveland 850's Toni Grossi back in October?
That strained relationship came to a head Tuesday after Grossi was caught on a live stream calling Mayfield a derogatory term for little people at the NFL Combine.
Joe Kurtz, of Seven Hills, is the vice president of the Northeast Ohio Chapter #35 of Little People America. Kurtz and his wife Joleen were shocked to hear Grossi made the comment.
“We are just like everybody else and it takes someone like that to bring us down, it’s just sad,” Joleen said.
They met through the organization 12 years ago and got married. Then, they adopted a daughter from China.
Grossi apologized for the comment, tweeting he’s “truly sorry” for his “choice of words.”
“I sincerely apologize for using a word that is a derogatory slur. There’s no excuse for using that language in any context. It was said without malice but also without thought.”
He went on to say, “I will strive to be a better person and professional.”
ESPN Cleveland and Good Karma Brands immediately announced they suspended Grossi indefinitely, releasing a statement that reads in part, “Good Karma Brands will not tolerate derogatory language that demeans others or groups of people.”
“Hopefully the more we talk about it, the more we bring awareness to it and it will bring it to a stop,” Joe said.