Former ESPN personality suffers heart attack reportedly stemming from firing Mike Windle/Getty Images
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 05: A view of the logo during ESPN The Party on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for ESPN)

According to Fox Sports, former ESPN commentator Doug Adler suffered a heart attack stemming from the fallout of his firing from the network.

“Doug is seeing physical deterioration from the stress related to this incident. He called Clay Travis from the hospital, and said that his doctor has linked the firing at ESPN to this incident via the stress it has created.”

The incident refers to Adler being removed from ESPN’s Australian Open coverage team following his remarks about Venus Williams during her second round match, which were construed as having racist undertones.

Adler was later fired for his remarks, where he used the term “guerrilla effect” or “gorilla effect” to describe Williams’ aggressive play in the match. His choice of words, however, spawned a backlash on Twitter with many who heard the broadcast calling for him to be fired for what they perceived as him comparing Williams to a gorilla.

For his part, Adler, a former professional tennis player himself, said he was referring to Williams tactics on the court and “simply and inadvertently chose the wrong word to describe her play.”

In an email statement to, the network said Adler should have chosen his words more wisely, and also confirmed has been removed from further broadcasts of the tournament.

“During an Australian Open stream on ESPN3, Doug Adler should have been more careful in his word selection,” the statement read. “He apologized and we have removed him from his remaining (Australian Open) assignments.”

Here’s to hoping for a full recovery for Adler.

Prashad is the Senior Content Editor for Cox Media Group's He considers Muhammad Ali, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce some of the all-time greats. Boston is TitleTown, in case you were wondering.
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