Tuesday, June 11, 2024

NFL Team’s Spanish-Language Broadcaster Loses Job for Supporting Trump

'I am not willing to participate in this project anymore if I’m going to be censored...'

The NFL’s Carolina Panthers pushed out one of its Spanish-language broadcasters because of his personal support for President Donald Trump, according to the Charlotte Observer.

Luis Moreno Jr., 42, had served with his uncle Jaime Moreno as the play-by-play radio announcer since 2010.

The pair were known internationally for their energetic calls of exciting plays by Panthers players.

Moreno Jr. emigrated from Mexico at 14 years old, and he became an American citizen in August.

He said he did not dig into politics before the spring lockdowns, but he had newfound time because of the stay-at-home orders.

After researching American politics online, he “found out that there are a lot of things that are happening that I wasn’t aware of that make me support [Trump],” he told the Observer.

Moreno tweeted a post in support of Trump from his private Twitter page in April.

This prompted Eric Fiddleman, who manages radio and television for the Panthers, to contact him and request that he remove references to the Panthers from his account.

At this time, Moreno was not under contract with the Panthers.

As an independent contractor, he is not employed during part of the off-season.

But he complied, scrubbed his Twitter bio of Panthers content, and updated it to reflect his support of Trump.

“Listen … I’m not even under contract right now. I am not willing to participate in this project anymore if I’m going to be censored,” Moreno said, recounting the conversation with Fiddleman. “Because I am not OK with them censoring my freedom of speech in support of the president.”

Moreno continued to share content related to Trump and QAnon, which he called a group of “love and truth” trying to “wake up people.”

He said no one from the Panthers organization called to speak with Moreno after he changed his Twitter bio, so Moreno said he broke with the team.

“I’m hurt because this has nothing to do with my performance on-air. This has nothing to do with how good I am at what I do,” he told the Observer. “I’m one of the best, and I’ll put myself against anybody in country when it comes to what I do in Spanish.”

“None of my support for the president was done on any of their social-media pages, it was never done on any of the airtime — whether it was a podcast or a broadcast or anything related to the Panthers. This was solely on my personal time on my personal accounts,” he said.

Moreno said he and the Panthers could have reached an agreement if they had been willing to speak with him.

Rookie color analyst Antonio Ramos took over Moreno’s role on Sunday.

For now, Moreno said he will keep his job as a bartender and as a stay-at-home father for his 2- and 4-year-old children.

After he casts his first vote as an American citizen to reelect Trump, he said he will decide what to do next.

“Obviously, we are also waiting to see what the elections are like, what the results are, before making a long-term decision. … I think that it goes without saying that this is one of the most important elections in our lifetime,” Moreno said.

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