Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Under Further Review: When is Enough, Enough?

Over the past couple of weeks, the world of sports has seen racism rear its ugly head in the most vocal of ways. Analysts like ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and Fox’s Terry Bradshaw have been on the wrong side of racially charged comments that have gone viral for all of the wrong reasons.

Stephen A. Smith was engaged in one of his lively debates on ESPN’s First Take when he dropped a “n***a please” as if it was completely fine to say on air (or ever). In one of the best moves Skip Bayless has ever made in his career, he swooped in and saved Smith from going any further on the subject. 

The part that is concerning is that ESPN, though apologizing for the incident, did nothing to punish Smith.  Smith denies that that’s what he even said prompting a flurry of tweets speculating what was actually said (and they were hilarious).  Fast talk or not it’s pretty obvious that he said it. See for yourself:

In week nine of Fox’s NFL coverage, the crew was going over highlights from the day’s games. Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush was running for a touchdown when analyst Terry Bradshaw blurted out that Bush was running “like he was chasing a bucket of chicken.”  Here is the video:

Of course, Fox did not have the luxury that ESPN had in saying that Smith didn’t actually say what he said.  Studio host Curt Menefee later defended Bradshaw saying that it was an inside joke with co-analyst Jimmy Johnson.  Either way, it was poor judgment on the part Bradshaw due to the easily racial perception.  Similar to Smith, Bradshaw was not punished by Fox.

Is this a link to a bigger issue?  People are now allowed to say anything that they want as long as they are a cog in huge money making machines?  These are people that influence opinions believe it or not, and comments like these cannot simply go unpunished.  Both ESPN and Fox could have stepped up the discipline and showed that racial comments have no place on their networks.

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