Ben Watson Incident With SEC Broadcaster Seemingly Not What ESPN Portrayed

ESPN initially tried to play it off as a 'performance bit'

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November 22, 2022

Following a live on-air incident on ESPN’s SEC Network broadcast Saturday, a spokesperson from The Worldwide Leader reportedly played off the incident between Ben Watson and Peter Burns as a “performance bit.”

Amanda Brooks, ESPN’s director of college football and the SEC Network, told OutKick that Watson deserved “an Emmy nomination,” despite the fact it seemed to be a heated incident to everyone who saw it live or viral videos after the fact. Watson took exception to an on-air joke by Burns in which the latter made reference to Watson’s wife.

“That’s not the one (text) she sent me,” Burns replied to Watson, who was humorously sharing how his wife liked the suit he chose to wear Saturday.

Well, Burns issued an apology on social media Monday night — probably not something that would have been done if it was a “bit,” as ESPN originally expressed.

“While it was an joke, the truth is that I crossed the line, you should never joke about family so I owe a public apology to Ben and Kirsten 100%,” Burns tweeted Monday night. “(Watson) couldn’t have handled it better with his humor and class. We all good & proud to call him a friend & coworker.”

Watson responded Monday night: “Apology accepted. We are moving on. See you Saturday man. We have some big games to discuss!”

It also confirmed the initial interaction was not what ESPN tried to depict.

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