Sports commentator Clay Travis is drawing criticism after making controversial remarks to a CNN female anchor on live television, causing the host to abruptly end the interview.
"I'm a First Amendment absolutist," Travis said while speaking to CNN host Brooke Baldwin. "I believe in only two things completely. The First Amendment, and boobs."
Travis, who lives in Nashville, was discussing recent controversy around comments made on Twitter by ESPN reporter Jemele Hill, in which she called President Donald Trump a "white supremacist" and "the most ignorant, offensive president" of her lifetime.
"I want to make sure I heard you correctly as a woman anchoring the show," Baldwin responded to Travis, with a puzzled look on her face. "What did you just say? You believe in the First Amendment and b-double o-b-s?"
Travis confirmed, adding that breasts and the First Amendment alone had "never let (him) down in this entire country's history."
"I believe completely in the First Amendment, and in boobs," Travis repeated to Baldwin later in the conversation. Those are the only two things I believe 100 percent in in this country."
Travis regularly turns to the phrase about breasts and the First Amendment on his radio show and Outkick The Coverage, his online sports publication.
"Why would you even say that live on national television, and with a female host?" Baldwin asked.
"I say it live on the radio all the time, because it's true and that's what I do," Travis replied. "Because I like boobs and the First Amendment, which is exactly what I said."
Former ESPN senior editor Keith Reed, who was also appearing as a guest on Baldwin's show, also spoke up, saying he was "astonished at almost everything I just heard."
As Reed continued on about his support for women in their careers, Travis interjected, asking him, "you don't love boobs, too?"
A few minutes after Travis' initial remarks, Baldwin shut the interview down.
"I'm done," Baldwin said. "I'm sorry. I'm done. I'm done. This is done. This is conversation over ... Bye. See ya. That was entirely inappropriate."
Twitter reacts to Travis' remarks
After booting Travis off the show, Baldwin followed up on Twitter repeating her disbelief.
"That was... I just... it was one of those thought bubbles "did he actually say that on MY SHOW?!" Note to men -- that is never okay. #smh," Baldwin tweeted, the hashtag an acronym for "shaking my head."
That was... I just... it was one of those thought bubbles "did he actually say that on MY SHOW?!" Note to men -- that is never okay. #smh— Brooke Baldwin (@BrookeBCNN) September 15, 2017
Other celebrities and internet personalities followed suit.
Among those who criticized Travis in the minutes after he made the comments was CNN anchor Jake Tapper, who tweeted that the remarks were "Incredibly juvenile, unprofessional, and sexist."
Incredibly juvenile, unprofessional, and sexist. https://t.co/50qqHF1fgx— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) September 15, 2017
Actor and former television host Montel Williams called Travis a "pervert for "(reducing) America to '#1a and boobs.'" He praised Baldwin for ending the interview.
Former NFL quarterback Sage Rosenfels responded by asking whether the White House would call for Fox Sports to fire Travis, as press seceretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had done for Jemele Hill.
Rosenfels and Travis then exchanged jabs on Twitter.
Tommy Vietor, former spokesperson for both President Barack Obama and the U.S. National Security Council, tweeted "Clay Travis is a dumb person."
Clay Travis is a dumb person. https://t.co/HNzNx5SblS— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) September 15, 2017
On his website, Travis has since posted about the interview, saying CNN "got totally and completely triggered," from his comments.
"Oh, and by the way, we now have to make 'I love the first amendment and boobs' tshirts and donate all the proceeds to breast cancer awareness," Travis wrote.
After the interview had ended, Travis tweeted that CNN had just called him, asking him to come back on the channel Monday, though CNN didn't immediately respond to an inquiry by USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee about whether Travis would reappear.
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