ESPN hires Jay Mariotti for freelance work

Jay MariottiESPN has hired former contributor Jay Mariotti for some freelance work, a company spokesperson confirmed to Larry Brown Sports.

Sherman Report reported on Monday that Mariotti had been brought back by the network.

“ESPN has graciously given me a chance to try freelance storytelling, potentially a longer-form piece the network does so well. I’ve started working on a particular project,” Mariotti told Sherman Report over email.

“I’ve been fortunate to write the columns, do the TV shows, host the radio shows, cover the major events and see the world. I think strong narratives always will stand out in a sports media business swirling in change (not all good). You’re seeing a boom in definitive, longer-form stories for TV and digital. Getting to explore this creative avenue with ESPN, the industry leader, is exactly what interests me right now. I appreciate the opportunity, and we’ll see where it goes from here,” he told the website.

Mariotti’s re-hiring by the network is significant regardless of his role. Mariotti rose to prominence as a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, where he worked from 1991-2008. His writing led to radio show hosting gigs, and eventually led to him becoming a panelist on ESPN’s “Around the Horn.”

Mariotti was arrested in August, 2010 for allegedly assaulting his then-girlfriend in a domestic dispute. He avoided jail time by pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge a month later. A year later, he pleaded no contest to stalking and assaulting his ex-girlfriend. The new charge stemmed from him confronting his ex-girlfriend on two previous occasions — once on Sep. 30, 2010 (the day he pleaded no contest to the original charge), and on April 15, 2011.

Mariotti has been at the center of several controversies during his career. Former Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen ranted about Mariotti in 2006 and later apologized for calling the writer a homosexual slur. Mariotti infamously quit the Chicago Sun-Times in 2008 because he thought the newspaper industry was dying, and he was heavily criticized by his colleagues as a result.

Jay Mariotti: Women’s Soccer for Girls Who Were Unpopular, Not Pretty in School

If anyone should be doing their best to avoid making sexist statements through a pubic forum, it’s Jay Mariotti.  Just last year, Mariotti somehow avoided jail time by pleading guilty to one count of misdemeanor domestic violence.  You would think that someone who pleaded guilty to putting his hands on a woman would at least be able to stay out of trouble on Facebook, but let us not forget who we’re dealing with.

On Sunday Deadspin called our attention to Mariotti’s Facebook page,where he recently had some interesting thoughts about women’s soccer.  Roughly 24 hours before the U.S. Women were set to take on Japan in the World Cup final, Mariotti changed his status to read, “Womens soccer a place for unpopular unpretty girls in school to shine.”

The status should have read, “Jay Mariotti’s Facebook page — a place for Jay to try his hardest to alienate the 12 people who still actually like him.”  The comment itself isn’t as bad as the person who made it.  Plenty of people share the same thought — although most with a brain keep it to themselves — but you would think a public figure who admitted to hitting his girlfriend would filter what he says.

Aside from that, has he seen Hope Solo and some of the other players on the team?  Something tells me they did just fine with popularity growing up.

Jay Mariotti Avoids Jail with Plea Deal

With all the schadenfreude regarding Jay Mariotti’s arrest last month, it’s only fair that we update the case involving the screaming head. The blabbermouth pleaded no contest to one count of misdemeanor domestic violence in exchange for the court dismissing the remaining six misdemeanor counts that included four domestic violence related counts, grand theft and false imprisonment.

Unfortunately, the jackass that is Mariotti will avoid jail and drop the soap time. Instead, he’s on three years probation and required to perform 40 days of community labor. He must also complete a 52-week domestic violence course and stay away from the woman with whom he was involved. In addition to the domestic violence charges, the courts should also examine the sanity of the woman who actually dated Jay (just a matter of opinion).

When Mariotti posted bail less than 24 hours after his arrest, we said he wasn’t locked up long enough. I must admit that the sports world is a much more pleasant place without him around. It’s also comforting to know that ESPN has no plans to use him in the future. That’s enough incentive for me to potentially lend Around the Horn an eyeball, as tough as that show is to endure.

Mariotti Wasn’t Locked Up Long Enough

Let me start off by saying I have never liked Jay Mariotti. Never. I’ve always seen him as a pompous jerk. And that’s the way that he likes to be seen. So when I heard Jay Mariotti was arrested because of a suspected domestic dispute, well, I couldn’t help but smile. But now, of course, he’s out on bail.

Why did someone let him out? Who possibly posted bail for him? If it were me, I’d have let him sit there in his own stupidity. Mariotti has always played a jerk on TV but now he’s supposedly let his true colors shine last night too. If that’s the case, and he really was involved in some type of “domestic incident,” than he is a bigger clown than I could have imagined.

I don’t have much to say to you Mariotti. It’s fine to be known as an “edgy” sports reporter who has strong opinions and translates them in less than nice ways. But it’s another thing entirely to be a crappy person too. I just can’t wait for Monday’s edition of Around the Horn to see what Woody Paige writes about you on his chalkboard.

Jay Mariotti Free on Bail After 12 Hours in the Clink [Deadspin]

Jay Mariotti Arrested

According to the L.A. Times blog, Fanhouse writer and ESPN Around the Horn guest Jay Mariotti was arrested Friday night in L.A. and booked on suspicion of a felony, which would appear to be a domestic disturbance.  As of this morning, Mariotti was still being held on $50,000 bail.

When I first heard the news, I thought for sure it would have something to do with a DUI, since that seems to be the go-to crime for athletes and celebrities.  That doesn’t seem to be the case.  Here is the latest from the L.A. Times about the incident:

[Updated at 9:30 a.m.: LAPD sources said Mariotti allegedly got into an argument with his girlfriend at a club in Santa Monica.

The argument continued at the couple's apartment in Venice, where some type of physical altercation allegedly occurred. Police were called to the apartment, and Marioitti was arrested. He is currently being held at the 77th Street station.]

Somewhere, Robert Ebert is smiling.

ESPN’s Jay Mariotti arrested by L.A. police [Updated] [LA Times]

Nobody Sad to See Jay Mariotti Leave

I’ve said it before that I can’t stand Around the Horn, in large part because two of the main dickweeds on the show are Jay Mariotti and Woody Paige. Mariotti has a big mouth, he’s unfair with his criticism, he comports himself as a total douche, and worse than anything else, he professes to be an authority on subjects about which he’s clueless. There’s really nothing I like about the guy, and for that reason, I don’t watch him on TV or read him in the paper.

Well Mariotti just announced that he’s leaving the Chicago Sun-Times and it’s no surprise to see that nobody is said to see him go. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Deadspin had two hilarious posts on this topic — one where a reader said he’ll start buying the paper again now that Mariotti’s gone (a true man of principles!), and the other is an open letter from Sun-Times movie critic, Roger Ebert. And man, does Ebert drop some major bombs!

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