ESPN Fires New Betting Analyst ‘Kelly in Vegas’ for Past Homophobic Tweets

Posted on: June 7, 2021, 05:40h. 

Last updated on: June 7, 2021, 09:32h.

Handicapper Kelly Stewart has been sacked from her new job as a betting analyst for ESPN because of homophobic tweets she made nine years ago.

Kelly Stewart
Kelly Stewart claims she resorted to homophobic language in a bid to silence trolls, who targeted her for being a woman in a male-dominated world. (Image: YouTube)

Known by her Twitter handle “Kelly in Vegas,” the Kansas native was hired by the broadcaster in early May as an analyst on Daily Wager and other ESPN sports betting platforms. She was to start her new role sometime this month.

But Kelly took to Twitter over the weekend to confirm the news and apologize for the “unacceptable and hurtful” language she used nearly a decade ago, and to partially deflect the blame onto Twitter trolls.

Anti-Gay Slurs

“ESPN has notified me they terminated my contract due to deleted tweets from 2012,” she wrote. “I know the words I used were unacceptable and hurtful and I am terribly sorry for this lapse in judgment, but I cannot apologize for standing up to the vicious attacks I, and so many other female personalities, endure from online trolls.”

Screenshots have since emerged showing four tweets posted by Stewart from March through July 2012, which repeat the same anti-gay slur.

yeah, but today my timeline is full of f*gs trying 2 say I’m fake. It’s so funny to me. Keep taking with your 17 followers,” reads one.

Three of these tweets appear to be responses to online abuse. Another is not so clear. In it, she laments that baseball pitcher Cliff Lee “decided” to have a good game and ends with the slur used as a hashtag. However, we aren’t party to the message she’s responding to.

‘Misogynistic Attacks’

“I don’t regret standing up for myself against vile, threatening, and misogynistic attacks from men who were threatened by a woman daring to make a living in the overwhelmingly male sports gambling industry,” Stewart continued.

“I believed I had to stand up for myself in order to make it in this industry and I responded to their threats of violence and sexist insults with the most powerful language I could think to use.

A decade later, I wish I hadn’t made the decision to respond to their vitriol with my own, but I cannot change my past,” she added. 

Stewart is a contributor to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Bleacher Report, and Wager Talk. She first came to the attention of the Las Vegas sports betting world in 2012 when she hit a three-team money-line parlay.

She offers a proxy betting service via her website kellyinvegas.com, which allows residents of other states to enter sports betting contests in Nevada.

In 2014, Stewart won the “Mini-Contest” at Westgate’s SuperContest, the famous NFL handicapping challenge.