NFL Network exec out after sex-tweet scandal, ESPN looking forward to Phillies-Mets game

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An NFL Network executive has resigned after sexually explicit Twitter messages, which had been public, were reported by Deadspin.

David Eaton, the vice president and executive editor of NFL Network, has resigned after hundreds of sexually explicit Twitter posts he sent to porn stars and prostitutes over the past few years surfaced in a news report.

On Tuesday, “Eaton tendered his resignation from NFL Media effective immediately,” an NFL Network spokesman said in a statement.

Eaton’s Twitter messages were exposed by Deadspin earlier this month, one day after the NFL Network suspended hosts Marshall Faulk, Ike Taylor and Heath Evans — all former NFL players — as it investigates allegations of sexual harassment made in a lawsuit by Jami Cantor, a former wardrobe stylist for the network.

Former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was also among the former players accused of sexual misconduct. A spokeswoman for ESPN, where McNabb is an NFL analyst, said McNabb “will not appear on our networks” as they investigate the allegations.

On Dec. 12, Deadspin reported that Eaton, a former ABC News bureau chief who joined the NFL in 2011 to oversee the NFL Network and NFL.com, began deleting hundreds of public Twitter messages exchanged with porn stars, prostitutes, and paid escorts. Eaton deleted his entire Twitter account later in the day.

Eaton’s resignation also comes as the league is investigating allegations of sexual harassment and workplace misconduct against Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson. Richardson, also a former NFL player, has announced that he plans to put the team up for sale following the 2017 season.

ESPN looking forward to Mets-Phillies matchup

Camera icon Gene J. Puskar / AP Photo
The Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals line the baseline for the national anthem before the Little League Classic held at Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pa. last season. This year, the Mets and the Phillies will face off in the second Little League Classic.

Spring training is still months away, and ESPN sill hasn’t announced a replacement for departed Sunday Night Baseball announcer Aaron Boone, who was hired as the new manager for the Yankees. But none of that has stopped ESPN from releasing its Sunday Night Baseball schedule for April, May, and select days in July and August.

Jessica Mendoza, who will be returning to the booth as an analyst for the third-straight year, says the game she’s most looking forward to calling in 2018 is an Aug. 19 matchup between the New York Mets and the Phillies.

It’s not just any ordinary game. The two teams will play at renovated Historic Bowman Field in Williamsport for the league’s second MLB Little League Classic. Last season, the Pirates beat the Cardinals, 6-3, in the first MLB Little League Classic on Sunday Night Baseball, where they wore special uniforms and were allowed to add a 26th player to their active roster.

“All of us at Major League Baseball are excited to return to Williamsport,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement in September. “The interactions throughout the day between the Major League Players and Little Leaguers was something that those involved will remember forever.”

ESPN also announced that reporter Buster Olney would return to the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast for his eighth season.

Cowboys ratings not measuring up to last year

It was a bad sign for the NFL when Fox Sports was willing to move the Cowboys out of it’s 4:25 p.m. national broadcast window in Week 14 in order to keep the league from flexing Eagles-Rams to primetime.

The Cowboys still have hopes of sneaking into the playoffs, but the team’s ratings haven’t quite measured up to last year, according to Nielsen numbers shared by Sports Media Watch.

Of the five broadcast windows that featured the Cowboys both this year and last year, four declined by double-digits. The team’s prime-time matchup against the Raiders on NBC’s Sunday Night Football last weekend drew 19.2 million viewers, down 21 percent from the 24.1 million viewers who tuned in last year to watch Buccaneers-Cowboys game.

The Cowboys’ decline in popularity comes amid a season-long slump that has seen NFL ratings decline 9 percent overall compared to the first 15 weeks of last season.