FanDuel TV host taken off-air after claiming death, cheating is part of horse racing
FanDuel TV host Ken Rudulph has been taken off-air after making a controversial statement following the unfortunate deaths of seven horses at Churchill Downs during Kentucky Derby week.
Rudulph posted a tweet to his Twitter account on Monday that said death, as well as cheating, was simply part of horse racing. The tweet has since been deleted.
“Horse racing needs to stop pretending and just be what it is,” Rudolph wrote. “It’s a great combo of WWE/reality TV/sports/ with a healthy does (sic) 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 worth while (sic).”
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After getting backlash for the comment, Rudulph issued an apology on Tuesday.
“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,” Rudulph tweeted. “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.”
Despite the apology, FanDuel made the announcement Wednesday that Rudulph would be off-air as it conducted a “full review.”
HORSE EUTHANIZED AT CHURCHILL DOWNS AFTER BROKEN LEG; BECOMES 8TH THOROUGHBRED TO DIE AT TRACK IN LAST 2 WEEKS
“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 said in a statement via Ray Paulick. “FanDuel strongly supports equine safety reforms, including our longstanding support of equine retirement and aftercare programs as well as organizations focused on the health 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 matte, Mr. Rudulph will not be appearing on FanDuel TV.”
An eighth horse, Rio Moon, broke his leg this past Sunday while racing at Churchill Downs, which led to him being euthanized.
The week prior, seven horses died due to different circumstances, including Wild On Ice, which was one of the horses set to race in the Derby. Two others died in the Derby’s undercard.
PETA sounded off on the racetrack as well as horse racing as a whole.
“Churchill Downs is a killing field. … They should play ‘Taps' at the Derby instead of ‘My Old Kentucky Home,’” PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo said in a statement to Fox News Digital.
There were also five scratches in the race, which was the first time since 1936 that occurred at the Derby. One of them was the morning-line favorite, Forte.
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“Although PETA appreciates that the Kentucky state veterinarian exercised caution by scratching the Derby favorite, we called for the closure of the track so stronger protocols could be put in place. Churchill Downs should have listened,” PETA said.
Fox News’ Ryan Morik contributed to this report.