After reviewing comments made on Twitter by FanDuel TV host Ken Rudulph, his employers have said that “Mr. Rudulph will not be appearing on FanDuel TV” pending a full investigation of the matter.
The news was first reported by the Paulick Report Wednesday night.
Monday, Rudulph Tweeted: “Horse racing needs to stop pretending and just be what it is. It's a great combo of WWE/reality TV/sports with a healthy dose of BS on the side. It's a great game. Cheating is part of it. Death is part of it. Losing is part of it. Winning makes it all worthwhile.”
The outcry over Rudulph's cavalier comments about equine deaths was immediate, and sustained, but Rudulph initially doubled down, at least on Monday.
When someone named Dj Big C Tweeted back, “The fact that people couldn't comprehend what you were saying says a lot about HRT.”
Replied Rudulph, “Oh they absolutely knew what I was saying. They also saw a reason to go “there”, so they went there. It's all part of the process. I expect it and I accept it.”
Tuesday, he deleted the Tweet and tried to walk it back. “Monday evening, I made a mistake and used a very poor choice of words to make what I hoped would be a compelling thought regarding horse racing. I apologize to my colleagues and the industry for my lack of proper forethought. I truly felt you all would have the open dialogue with me. I will find a better way in the future. At NO POINT am I advocating for or supporting horse fatalities. I don't even know how that became part of this. I'm trying to have a conversation about the issues in this industry, and how we deal with them on a daily basis. This confusion reminds me why we can't have these conversations. But I'm not going to stop trying.”
No it's pretty clear with this pic.twitter.com/4KeAHzJFZB
— Pacemakestherace (@WildWildgreen18) May 16, 2023
The apology didn't go down well with everyone.
“You didn't make a mistake,” Tweeted Diana Baker. “You told us what you really thought. It's infuriating and despicable. You should be fired and never work in this business again. NO horse death is acceptable. We all have to do better for the horses we rely upon. SHAME ON YOU.”
Writer Jay Hovdey called it “a deeply cynical take from someone who represents a pure gambling point of view.”
FanDuel appeared to agree. Wednesday, they wrote, “Recently, FanDuel TV host Ken Rudulph made disappointing comments online about the integrity of horse racing, as well as the safety and welfare of its participants. As the market leader in legal sports wagering, FanDuel takes the issues of sports integrity and track safety very seriously, and we disagree in the strongest terms with the sentiments expressed by Mr. Rudulph. Fanduel Strongly supports equine safety reforms, including our longstanding support of equine retirement and aftercare programs as well as organizations focused on the heath and safety of jockeys. We also work in close partnership with international and North American-based sports integrity monitoring agencies to identify any potentially illicit activity occurring within our racing or sportsbook platforms. Pending a full review of this matter, Mr. Rudulph will not be appearing on FanDuel TV.”