ESPN’s Keith Olbermann Suspended Over Penn State “Thon” Tweets

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – ESPN has suspended Keith Olbermann for his controversial remarks about Penn State on Twitter.

On Twitter, Olbermann got into it with students and fans over the school’s annual pediatric cancer fundraiser called “Thon.”

The Penn State dance Marathon known as “Thon” began Friday night at the Bryce Jordan Center in State College and wound up at 4 p.m. Sunday.

Hundreds took part in the annual dance marathon over the weekend which raised more than $13 million for pediatric cancer research and care.

The fund’s mission is to conquer childhood cancer by assisting children treated at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. The fund ensures that all expenses a family incurs are covered, from medical bills to gas and food money and household living expenses.

A PSU alum sent Olbermann a tweet saying “We Are!” with a link to the news on the Thon.

That’s when Olbermann responded “pitiful.”

That led to multiple tweet to several people including these:

At one point Olbermann started correcting grammar.

When one Twitter user went after his employer, ESPN, Olbermann called him a “goober.”

Olbermann went so far as to call one man “stupid” saying he had only been fired once in 35-years.

Olbermann apologized on Twitter, but ESPN has decided to suspend him for the rest of the week.

ESPN released a statement saying:

We are aware of the exchange Keith Olbermann had on Twitter last night regarding Penn State. It was completely inappropriate and does not reflect the views of ESPN. We have discussed it with Keith, who recognizes he was wrong. ESPN and Keith have agreed that he will not host his show for the remainder of this week and will return on Monday. The annual tradition of THON and the efforts of the students of Penn State to fight pediatric cancer should be applauded.

GALLERY: Click the photo below for more pictures from the event!

(Photo Credit: Joel Goldberg)

(Photo Credit: Joel Goldberg)

Organizers announced that the 46-hour event billed as the largest student-run philanthropy raised $13,026,653. Last year’s record-breaking tally was $13.34 million. The money will go to the 4 Diamond Fund.

The fund’s mission is to conquer childhood cancer by assisting children treated at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. The fund ensures that all expenses a family incurs are covered, from medical bills to gas and food money and household living expenses.

Thousands of students play a role in planning the event, soliciting donations from motorists and helping more than 700 dancers make it through the grueling weekend. Over 15,000 students volunteers spent 10 months organizing and running the event.

The dancers mingled with patients and their families throughout the weekend, one of the highlights is athletes hour where members of all Penn State teams spend time playing game, signing autographs and having water gun fights with the kids.

Since 1977, students have raised more than $100 million in donations to help young cancer patients and their families through the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.

UPDATE:

Lisa DeLeon sent out the initial tweet that said “We Are,” with a link to the Thon story.

DeLeon, a Penn State alum joined the “KDKA Morning News” with Larry Richert and John Shumway to talk about the reaction she had when she saw Olbermann’s response.

“I really just hesitated and tried to figure out exactly what (Olbermann) meant by it and maybe he misinterpreted what I meant to send him because I thought it was pretty inappropriate no matter which way I looked at it,” she said.

When asked if she accepts Olbermann’s apology she says, “I don’t know him well enough, I don’t follow him well enough to really judge if it’s truly genuine or not. I think it’s a good start where he can just sit back and reflect on some of his responses.”

DeLeon adds that she tweeted to Olbermann because previous negative comments he has made about Penn State didn’t, “sit well” with her.

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