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November 23, 2009
Sports broadcasters suspended because of one viewer complaint
In wake of Maj. Nidal Hasan's terrorist actions at Ft. Hood, various public figures and media outlets have cautioned against an anti-Islamic backlash in the USA.
Apparently, Fox Sports, the NBA and the Los Angeles Clippers have received the message loud and clear by suspending for one game the Clippers' broadcast team Ralph Lawler and Mike Smith for "ethnic slurs" against the league's first Iranian player, Hamed Haddadi.
Diane Pucin of the LA Times sports blog has this latest example of the insanity of political correctness:
Wednesday's comments came near the end of a dreary Clippers loss, 106-91, in Memphis as rookie Haddadi, a 7-foot-2 center and the first Iranian player in the NBA, came into the game.
In a 40-second exchange Lawler and Smith began talking about Haddadi. A Clippers fan who watched Wednesday’s telecast complained about the verbal exchange and said he received an apology today from Fox Sports.
Here is the exchange:
Smith: “Look who’s in.”
Lawler: “Hamed Haddadi. Where’s he from?”
Smith: “He’s the first Iranian to play in the NBA.” (Smith pronounced Iranian as “Eye-ranian,” a pronunciation that offended the viewer who complained.)
Lawler: “There aren’t any Iranian players in the NBA,” repeating Smith’s mispronunciation.
Smith: “He’s the only one.”
Lawler: “He’s from Iran?”
Smith: “I guess so.”
Lawler: “That Iran?”
Lawler: “The real Iran?”Smith: “Yes.”
Lawler: “Wow. Haddadi – that’s H-A-D-D-A-D-I.”
Smith: “You’re sure it’s not Borat’s older brother?”
Smith: “If they ever make a movie about Haddadi, I’m going to get Sacha Baron Cohen to play the part.”
Lawler: “Here’s Haddadi. Nice little back-door pass. I guess those Iranians can pass the ball.”
Smith: “Especially the post players.
Lawler: “I don’t know about their guards.”
So, let's get this straight? One viewer of hundreds of thousands in the LA market complained, and Fox Sports responds to the demands of one offended individual and axes its broadcast team for one game? If this is the new threshold of tolerance, then I suggest in the future, complaining to any network that employs an announcer or analyst who references the movie "White Men Can't Jump" when a Caucasian-American player gets dunked on by an African-American player.
As a Caucasian-American who, in younger days, used to be able to finish off an alley-oop pass "with authority," I am one viewer who has always been offended by that phrase in our sports lexicon.