Tuesday, April 27, 2010

When Will They Learn?

You would think that in this day and age sports media types would be aware of the dangers of saying something potentially offensive in a public forum, but here we have not one, but two instances of reporters in some hot water.

Sports radio 1310 in Dallas has suspended on-air personality Mike Bacsik for derogatory comments he made on his Twitter account about Hispanics in San Antonio following a Spurs-Mavericks NBA playoff game. (If Bacsik's name rings a bell, he's the guy who served up record breaking home run #756 to Barry Bonds a few years ago). There's no word yet on what will happen to popular Boston sports radio personality Fred Toettcher, who compared Tim Tebow and his family to "Nazis."

Three points here, the first being ... how dumb can some guys get? People have lost jobs and careers have been destroyed for saying racially insensitive things on the air. Secondly, those in the sports media have got to start realizing the potential danger and impact of Twitter, Facebook and other instantaneous social media. Too often, people post reactions without stopping to think about the ramifications of their comments. That includes the offensive, the angry and the just plain mean.

The last point is about the Tebow comment. David Whitley rightly makes the case that if it's not OK to say offensive things about Hispanics and blacks, then it shouldn't be OK to offend whites by comparing them to Nazis. It will interesting to see what, if any, punishment Toettcher receives for what he said. If nothing is done, or he merely gets a slap on the wrist, then there's a very serious double standard at work.


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