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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Golf Commentator Dropped After Sexist Interview Verified

WASHINGTON -- Ben Wright, the CBS Sports golf commentator whose comments about women's golf last May set off a firestorm of criticism toward him, and the network that allowed him to stay on the air, has been removed from the CBS broadcast team.


A statement released Tuesday by CBS Sports President David Kenin said that "because of the continuing controversy, CBS believes his association with the network has detracted from its golf coverage" and "there are no plans for Wright's return to CBS Sports."


However, the statement did not say that Wright was fired. Network sources said CBS will honor a four-year, $1 million contract it signed in November with Wright, 63, a 23-year veteran.


Wright's problems began after an interview that appeared in the News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware, last May 12 during the LPGA Championship in that city. Reporter Valerie Helmbreck quoted Wright as saying, "Let's face facts here. Lesbians in the sport hurt women's golf."


He also said "They're going to a butch game, and that furthers the bad image of the game. ... Women are handicapped by big boobs. It's not easy for them to keep the left arm straight and that's one of the tenets of the game. Their boobs get in the way."


Wright immediately denied making those statements, and CBS supported him, allowing him to return to covering PGA Tour events.


But in a story about the incident in its Dec. 4 issue, Sports Illustrated quoted a part-time CBS employee who said he had overheard parts of Wright's interview with Helmbreck, and that what she wrote was accurate.