Former sportswriter and commentator is first guest of Jason Whitlock's podcast...
Whitlock adds to the "podcast-sphere" with his first offering that turns out to be an interesting interview with Jay Mariotti. Among other things, Mariotti says he regrets not going to court over the domestic dispute that led to his dismissal from two high profile media jobs.
"The only reason there was a plea bargain was because AOL said at the time that, 'You're coming back to work. You're going to come back to work. Keep this out of a courtroom. We don't want any trial. It's on a misdemeanor level. Go right ahead and plea and you'll have your job back and we'll be ready to go.'
Little did I know at the time that AOL behind the scenes was plotting with Arianna Huffington. Was plotting with The Sporting News. And the next thing you know, they're suggesting a settlement. And if I had known what I know now about their business relationships at the time. The fact that they were cutting deals and they were going to eliminate the positions of many sportswriters, I would've probably gone ahead to court because I would've wanted to protect my name in its entirety.
Instead, I accepted a plea based on what my boss at AOL was telling me and in the end it turns out that his bosses were plotting to get rid of the entire sports structure at AOL."
As for the way ESPN released him:
"I think ESPN because, the perception of it is that, AOL had to take this action against Mariotti. I think they had to take the same. What are they going to do? Turn around and go, 'Come on our air even though they did this.'"
Mariotti says he had a clause in his AOL contract that allowed AOL to fire him "without cause" which meant they never had to give a reason, publicly or privately, why they let him go.
I know what you're thinking. Why would someone bother signing a contract that allows the employer to fire you without cause? I've never signed an employment contract with such a provision and it's curious how a lawyer for Mariotti would've allowed him to do so.