Sports commentators and analysts are noted for their verbal gaffes, and for "mis-speaking" from time to time.
Generally I cut them some slack, but not this time.
We lamented the woeful coverage of the Olympics by NBC. Sure the commentators were both ill-informed and jingoistic, but they were not responsible for the editorial decisions.
Rightly, they were held accountable for their own bloviating, but it didn't rise much above the level one has come to expect.
In the case of Skip Bayliss I offer no such comfort.
Bayliss is a football analyst on ESPN. He was discussing the Washington Redskins, when he made this remark: WaPo
“Some foolish Redskins fans – fans, foolish, doesn’t that go together, right? – they’re gonna sit back and say, ‘God, RGIII was struggling. He fumbled, he threw a couple of bad passes. Maybe Kirk Cousins is better right now. Maybe we should go with Kirk.’ NO! I don’t want to see that. I don’t want to set up that dynamic.In the category of "Breathtakingly stupid remarks on a Sports Channel", Skip just won the Oscar and the Grammy.
“I’m going to throw it out there,” Bayless continued. “You also have the black/white dynamic and the majority of Redskins fans are white and it’s just human nature if you’re white to root for the white guy. It just happens in sports. Just like the black community will root for the black quarterback".
That he felt that he could say something like that speaks volumes to the common-place, every day racism that permeates every level of society.
ESPN ... give us a break from this guy. Only then will folk start to get the message.
6:35 AM PT: Let me be very clear. The observation that fans behave the way they do is not what I am objecting to.
It is the ascribing of that behaviour to "human nature" that is a gross comment.
It is not human nature to be racist, it is racist to be racist and that is learned behaviour. Excusing it as somehow "natural" is simply wrong.