ESPN has denied a story by the Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday that claimed the network wants host Keith Olbermann to suspend commentary from his program.
“Keith has never been told any topic is off limits for his commentary nor has continuation of it been part of any conversation about his future at the company,” the company said in a statement.
Olbermann, who hosts a self-titled show on ESPN2, is widely known for his outspoken behavior and has been reprimanded in the past by both ESPN and his previous employer, MSNBC.
In its story, the Hollywood Reporter wrote that ESPN management “signaled their discomfort with Olbermann’s commentaries” following Bill Simmons’ exit from the cabler this year. Simmons, like Olbermann, has been critical of several high-profile authorities in the sports world, including NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for his handling of the Ray Rice case.
ESPN has also reprimanded other on-air contributors this past year, including Stephen A. Smith for his comments on domestic abuse following the Ray Rice suspension as well as Keith Law for his remarks on evolution.
Olbermann, 56, has a two-year deal with ESPN that ends in August.