Is Doug Adler’s Lawsuit even Worth it?


Earlier this year on Jan. 18, a comment was made by ESPN announcer Doug Adler to one of the most popular tennis stars, Venus Williams. During one of her matches Adler apparently made a remark describing Williams using “the guerrilla effect” New York Times used this as a leverage and posted it on Twitter. Many found it rude and appalling that he would use that for his word choice. Two days later they fired him. On Monday, Adler made the decision to sue ESPN Network because he believed he was using a well known term, thinking ESPN has ruined his career.

“By the way ESPN chose to handle this non-issue, they effectively branded me, my character and my reputation for the rest of my life,” Adler told Alike Justine Sacco, Adler made a remark that would haunt him for the rest of his career. Adler meant to use “guerrilla” tactics than to what people believed he meant to compare her to as a “gorilla”. He apologized, but was still let go.


Digital is eternal in this situation, after realizing this would follow him for the rest of his life. Bad news always finds its way into the media and it did. Many of the viewers called in and complained that they wanted Adler let go from his offensive word choice that he described in Venus’s match between. Being branded now as racist and losing other opportunities with television. He is now at his ends and is suing ESPN for “emotional distress.”


The lawsuit against ESPN states that it was an obvious term that Adler was familiar with. The term,”Guerilla effect” was a Nike TV ad from the 1990s featuring Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras. It was a commercial that he had seen many times and figures that individuals that follow tennis closely they would have understood the phrase.

Adler did make a great “word choice” mistake in describing Williams. He may have to suffer through a great deal to get back to where he was in his career, but is it all worth to relive the pain in suing the network, when it might be okay to just walk away from this crisis? Adler may have a chance in the lawsuit. Specifically in which the term was being mentioned several times in an early 90’s commercial, Adler may have an advantage, but will have a difficult way in convincing the media, especially the people who dont follow the tennis lingo.


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