ESPN on Wednesday fired Marly Rivera, a longtime national baseball reporter, in the wake of an incident at Yankee Stadium last week in which she directed an expletive at another reporter.
Rivera had arranged to interview Aaron Judge during batting practice before a Yankees-Angels game last Tuesday when Ivon Gaete, working as a freelance journalist for a Japanese media outlet with Shohei Ohtani in town, sought to interview Judge before her.
Rivera informed Gaete she was scheduled to interview Judge but Gaete persisted. Eventually, Rivera uttered a two-word expletive that was caught on video.
She said she sought to apologize to Gaete but was rebuffed. A week later, ESPN fired her.
“She no longer works here,” an ESPN spokesman said. Rivera’s firing was first reported by the New York Post.
Gaete is married to John Blundell, MLB’s vice president of communications.
“I made a mistake and it was wrong what I did,” Rivera told Newsday. “There were a series of extenuating circumstances, but any time you fight any of that, it sounds like an excuse. I have read more than enough of these types of statements to know that I am not going to excuse actions.
“It’s wrong, and I broke ESPN’s code of conduct and I accept the consequences of my actions. But I’m a professional. I have an untarnished reputation all over baseball and I do believe that this would not have happened if this individual was not married to an MLB official.
“And I do believe that I’m being singled out, because there are previous professional disagreements with a group of these people.”
Blundell declined to comment.
Rivera had been at ESPN for 13 years on a variety of platforms.