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Tough season: Veteran ABC sports commentator David Morrow. Photo: SuppliedVeteran ABC broadcaster David Morrow will return to the airwaves next week before joining long-time colleague Warren Ryan in retirement at the end of the season.
Morrow was stood down following an on-air incident during the Roosters-Bulldogs clash on May 23, which was effectively Ryan’s last shift with the station.
The ABC launched an investigation into allegations Ryan had made a racist remark, while Morrow was being investigated for finding the remark humorous. Ryan sensationally handed in his resignation to his long-term employer, fast-tracking retirement plans and effectively ending an association with rugby league that had stretched over five decades.
“The ABC has suspended me pending an investigation, so I have resigned to save them the trouble of conducting it,” Ryan said last month.
Morrow had to wait exactly two months for the result of the inquiry into his conduct, with the outcome allowing him a final farewell to listeners.
“The ABC has completed its investigation into a broadcast by Warren Ryan and David Morrow aired on Friday 23 May 2014,” an ABC representative said.
“The ABC has reviewed Mr Morrow’s responses to the investigation and accepts that he does not condone or endorse terms that are offensive and racist. The community holds the ABC responsible for everything it broadcasts and Mr Morrow understands the standards required of ABC commentators in this regard. As a result, the ABC confirms Mr Morrow will now return to his usual duties as a commentator with ABC Grandstand.
“Mr Morrow has advised the ABC of his decision to retire in November at the end of this broadcast year. Mr Morrow has made a significant contribution to the sporting community through his broadcast work and the ABC wishes him well.
“Warren Ryan chose to end his association with the ABC when the investigation was instigated. The ABC acknowledges his longstanding service to the sports community and public broadcasting and wishes him well.”
Morrow, who was also briefly stood down last year over allegations a conversation he referenced with an Atlanta police officer were racist, could not be contacted for comment.
“I’d like to congratulate David on an outstanding career. He has been a phenomenal broadcaster,” Ryan said.
“We have enjoyed a great friendship over the years and that will continue when he retires.”
Generations of rugby league fans have grown up with Morrow, who has been a part of the ABC’s radio and television coverage of the game since 1980. He covered his first Olympic Games in 1984 and his first Commonwealth Games two years later. In 2005, he was awarded an OAM for services to sport, sports broadcasting, the community. The ABC is in the process of finding replacements for Morrow and Ryan for next year’s sports coverage.
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