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Sports radio host apologizes for ‘Barbie’ comments made toward veteran female reporter at Commanders camp

Sports personality Don Geronimo issued a statement Wednesday about his dismissal from a D.C.-based radio station and apologized for the remark he made toward a veteran female reporter.

Geronimo, whose real name is Michael Sorce, called WUSA9 reporter Sharla McBride “Barbie” and a “cheerleader.” The remarks led to the Washington Commanders barring iHeartMedia – the parent company of WBIG Radio – from the team’s training camp facilities in Ashburn, Virginia – and later, Geronimo’s dismissal.

“Last week, during my live radio show from the Commanders training camp, I used inappropriate words in a way that hurt someone. I deeply and sincerely apologize for the pain I caused WUSA sports reporter Sharla McBride,” Geronimo said in a statement obtained by Fox News Digital.

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Don Geronimo

Former WBIG host Don Geronimo (Getty Images)

“As has been reported, I insensitively used the terms ‘Barbie,’ ‘Barbie girl,’ and ‘chick’ when talking about Ms. McBride, a fellow broadcaster who I did not know or recognize, when she walked by our broadcast position. My attempts to be humorous and topical backfired, and I needlessly deprecated a professional colleague.”

Geronimo pushed back on one aspect of the ordeal – the use of the word “tight.” He said neither he nor his producer used the word to describe McBride.

“Rather, my producer used the word ‘tight’ – a common term in the broadcast world that refers to seamless production – to describe a technical aspect of our show that day,” the statement read. “The timing of it was unfortunately misconstrued in some reports as part of my reference to Ms. McBride.”

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Commanders fans at training camp

Fans show up during day four at the Washington Commanders training camp at Commanders Park on July 29, 2023, in Ashburn, Virginia. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Geronimo said he reached out to McBride to apologize and added that he hoped she would be able to have a conversation with him to “reiterate” his apology in person.

“I hope that Ms. McBride and the listeners who heard me will forgive me. I am better than this, and I promise to demonstrate that going forward,” he said.

McBride didn’t immediately respond to the statement as she’s covering Commanders training camp.

She said last week she was “hurt” by the comments that were made.

Commanders logo on field

The Washington Commanders logo on the field before the Cleveland Browns game at FedExField on Jan. 1, 2023, in Landover, Maryland. (Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

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“When I heard the comments made about me on the radio show, I felt incredibly insulted and embarrassed,” she told ESPN. “In my 17 years as a professional journalist, I have never been disrespected in such a blatant manner while trying to do my job. Their words were sexist and misogynistic. No woman should experience this in the workplace, and I appreciate the Commanders’ swift response in handling this matter.”

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