ESPN’s Joe Tessitore: ESPN’s Michael Kay should have been fired for his comments about ‘black players’

Michael Kay, the longtime NFL columnist for ESPN and ESPN2, is stepping down from the network following a Twitter spat that drew national attention to the NFL and its players.

The NFL announced Friday that Kay, who joined the network in 2013, was leaving the network effective immediately.

In a tweet Friday, ESPN president John Skipper said Kay had been “unable to continue working with ESPN and our partners in ESPN2.”

ESPN2 will retain Kay’s contract.

Kay’s comments, which surfaced in an ESPN Insider profile of the Baltimore Ravens star running back Ray Rice, drew national scrutiny for their racial and homophobic content.

Kay wrote in the profile that the Ravens’ decision to let Rice walk after the incident was “not the right call.”

Kay wrote that the team had to let Ray Rice walk for the “mistakes” of allowing Rice to walk onto the field in the first place.

“The league should have seen this coming,” Kay wrote.

“I wish Ray Rice was still in the NFL, but the league could have done better in allowing Rice the chance to leave the field and get treatment.”

Kay later apologized on Twitter, saying that “I’ve learned a lot” from the comments.

Rice was arrested on July 25 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, after police found him on the ground with a broken nose and other injuries.

He was released on a $2,500 bond the next day.