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ESPN Announcers Defend Jermaine Burton After Tennessee Fan Incident

Chris Fowler
ESPN broadcaster Chris Fowler. Photo via @11W on Twitter.

ESPN broadcaster Chris Fowler had a head-scratching description and explanation of the incident that occurred in Knoxville last weekend regarding Alabama wide receiver Jermaine Burton and a female Tennessee fan. While heading off the field following the loss to Tennessee in Neyland Stadium, Burton allegedly struck a female Tennessee fan in the back of the endzone as fans were rushing the field.

During the second quarter of Alabama’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday night, Fowler gave an explanation to the television audience about the incident. Fowler, though, chose to begin the conversation by establishing how dangerous of an environment Knoxville was before getting into the actual shove that reportedly occurred.

“Burton was the guy that felt he was in danger when those fans at Tennessee rushed the field,” ESPN’s Chris Fowler said during the broadcast. “He reached out with his hand and he shoved a female Tennessee student. Caused a big uproar. It was posted on her Tik Tok and Saban elected not to discipline him in terms of a suspension for the game. That they handled it internally. Paid some price but able to play here tonight.”

“Burton is the guy, though, they’ve got him working with anger management counsel,” Fowler continued on to say. “He threw a punch at a Texas A&M player. He was heavily provoked in that game but did throw a punch and was penalized and it could have been extremely costly in that game. It was tight, late in the game when it happened.”

“Saban hoping he will learn to sort of control his emotions a little bit better,” Fowler said. “It’s a tough situation though when fans rush the field.”

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After commenting on the matter in the middle of the week, Alabama head coach Nick Saban also addressed the conversation around his wide receiver after the contest, clarifying one point that Fowler had wrong.

“I didn’t think it was necessary to suspend the guy,” Saban said via ESPN. “If you knew the whole story, maybe you wouldn’t either. But I’m not going to divulge that.”

“Look, I don’t know how many of you have ever been in a situation like that, but I talked to him,” Nick Saban said about Burton. “He was scared. I was scared. Some of our other players were scared. I think you learn to respect other people because we have a responsibility to do that, regardless of the circumstance that we’re in. I talked to the guy. We have him in a counseling program. It’s not an anger management program, as people announced today. Nobody ever said that – that’s not the problem, that’s not the issue. But it’s about having the proper respect for other people.”

The ESPN broadcast essentially just repeated everything that Saban had been saying throughout the week. Fowler chose to lead the story by establishing Tennessee’s dangerous environment, which takes the focus and weight away from the alleged physical incident that occurred on the field. While Fowler didn’t just gloss right over the incident, the fact that it was set up in the way it was is telling enough.

Burton began the game as a starter for the Tide’s offense and ended the game with two receptions for 40 yards.

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6 Responses

  1. Well, that is just nonsense. Jermiane Burton is 6 feet tall and weighs 200 pounds, but he was afraid of a girl? Give me a break. I’ve seen UT fans rush the field several times and I have not seen an opposing player injured, especially not by a woman. ESPN should stop trying to placate Saban, who could use some anger mangement classes himself.

  2. It couldn’t possibly be that Coach Saban is a rotten sport himself and he would rather use a player than teach the young man a lesson about self discipline.

  3. A huge man assaulted a 100lb female who showed no threat to him. None. Watch the video over & over. Shame on him. Shame on Saban. Shame on Chris Fowler. I hope you are all slapped with charges/law suits for defending violence against women, a very innocent woman, by a man with very violent tendencies. You are promoting violence against women. I hope you sleep well at night!

  4. That’s is really BS from Fowler. How would he feel if it was his daughter? I’m thinking he wouldn’t be so condescending about it. I can’t believe a woke company like Disney (ESPN parent) is going to just let him get away with that statement.

    Saban saying the player was scared is crazy. If he was scared, why wasn’t he running off the field?

  5. How Chris Fowler still has a broadcasting job is beyond. He is terrible.

    And for Herbstreit, do us Tennesseans a favor and put your house in Nashville up for sale. Moved to anywhere but the great state of Tennessee.

  6. Absolutely crazy that anyone is ok with this! Most coaches want their guys to be respectful and show some sort of maturity. Win or lose. Hey Saban, sorry for your loss. But you and your thugs are definitely showing what type of people you are now. The rest of the Alabama players need to take note. You can treat people however you want to while playing there, but you are going to be garbage to the world once you’re out from under his protective excuses for it. The whole program should be ashamed. For any player to say they were scared is laughable and they deserve to be called out on that. I would hope every other player on Alabama would seperate themselves from this idiocy and apologize for Burton and Saban’s actions. And ESPN needs to do the same for their idiots.

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