The new Washington Commanders ownership group took swift action to remove two radio hosts after they discovered sexist remarks were made on-air toward a female reporter.
The team banned Don Geronimo and Crash Young of local WBIG “BIG 100” from training camp Friday after the pair called WUSA9 sports anchor Sharla McBride “Barbie” and thought she was a cheerleader during Thursday’s practice. McBride has worked at WUSA9 since 2020 and has been a sports reporter since 2007, according to her LinkedIn page.
“We have worked hard to ensure that everyone feels safe and respected in our workplace,” a Commanders spokesperson said in a statement to WUSA9, “and we took swift action when we learned that an employee of our partner iHeart made sexually disparaging remarks to and about a member of the media while she was broadcasting live from training camp yesterday.”
Geronimo reportedly shouted, “Hey look, Barbie’s here. Hi, Barbie girl. I’m guessing she’s a cheerleader,” at McBride. Later in the broadcast, Geronimo reportedly said to Young, “Oh hey. There’s that chick that you thought … said tight.” The two later realized she was “a sportscaster at Channel 9. Or Channel 7” and that “she’s familiar.” Geronimo again added he thought she was a cheerleader.
The Commanders signed a three-year partnership deal with iHeartMedia, the parent company of WBIG, in 2022 when Daniel Snyder was still the owner of the team. Snyder officially sold the Commanders to a group led by Josh Harris on July 20 for a reported $6.05 billion after years of league and federal investigations into sexual misconduct, workplace harassment and allegations of underreporting NFL revenues. The league also fined Snyder $60 million as the sale was approved.
IHeartMedia did not say whether the two hosts would be reprimanded.
“We are taking this matter seriously and currently reviewing it internally,” Aaron Hyland, the D.C. region president for iHeartMedia, told WUSA9.
The Commanders appear ready to turn over a new leaf after Snyder’s departure. Head coach Ron Rivera has already said he’s “fired up” about the new direction of the team with new ownership. The next step is, of course, winning football games. Something Snyder’s team didn’t do much of during his time at the helm.
(Disclosure: Josh Harris is a co-founder of Apollo Global Management, which owns Yahoo, Inc. He left the private equity firm in 2022.)