Fox13 issues update after employee’s racist Draymond tweet

A Memphis meteorologist took an argument that ESPN commentator Jeff Van Gundy made during Game 3 of the Golden State Warriors-Memphis Grizzlies series and turned it racist.

Joey Sulipeck, the chief meteorologist for Fox13 Memphis, sent out a racist tweet following Game 3 on Saturday, referring to Warriors forward Draymond Green with the racial slur knuckle-dragger.

“And chew on this: Draymond runs his knuckle-dragging open mouth ALL GAME LONG, but mild-mannered Kyle Anderson disputes one call and gets ejected? Next level jackassery,” he wrote in a now-deleted tweet.

Sulipeck, who is white, not only deleted his tweet after much backlash — which included criticism from a Memphis media member — he also deleted his entire account.

Anderson was ejected late in Saturday’s game for arguing with officials. On the ESPN broadcast, Van Gundy disagreed with the ejection, arguing that the Memphis player was being punished because his frustration with the officials was out of character for him. In contrast, Van Gundy continued to note, players that are always in the face of the officials often get more space to do just that, because it’s part of their reputation.

Van Gundy’s argument is a perfectly fair one. If Sulipeck had only echoed it, there’d be no issue. Except that’s not what he did.

On Monday, Fox13 Memphis offered the following statement to SFGATE: “During Saturday’s Memphis Grizzlies’ game, Meteorologist Joey Sulipeck tweeted a comment that does not reflect the values ​​of FOX13. We take this matter very seriously and will take appropriate action pending a full investigation.”

Green responded to Sulipeck’s post on his Instagram Story with the caption, “Are you surprised? Don’t apologize. STAND ON IT!” (Sulipeck has not apologized as of this posting, and it’s unclear what Fox13 Memphis’ “full investigation” details.)

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was asked about Sulipeck’s tweet on Sunday. He responded, “Does it surprise me that a weatherman would tweet a slur at Draymond in 2022? Not in the slightest bit. This is America. This is how we operate.”

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