A Big Sports Illustrated Faux Pas?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I can't stress enough how great of a catch this was by Majorly English. Apparently SI.com has been putting up its most intelligent people in Sports in a feature called Best Brains in Sports. Belichick is on there...Peyton Manning is on there...etc. etc.

Well they also have Tiki Barber on there as well. His entry currently says, "The former Giants tailback and current broadcaster may have made the smartest decision of all when he retired at the top of his game, sans injury." Well that's not what it used to say according to Pete from M.E. He captured a screen grab about 20 minutes before they changed the entry, and there's a word missing in the quote above....

"The ARTICULATE former Giants tailback and current broadcaster may have made the smartest decision of all when he retired at the top of his game, sans injury."
So why would SI take that word out? Well, M.E. points to the Senator Joe Biden incident where he called Barack Obama, "Clean and articulate". I've always been bothered by people who refer to African-Americans/Black People as being "well-spoken". Well-spoken for what? A black person??? You never hear anyone say that about Joe Buck, or Jon Miller.

It's good that SI caught their mistake, and they may not have meant it that way, but come on....enough with the whole "well-spoken"/"articulate" talk about black people please. Here are the screen grabs for your viewing......

Best Brains: Tiki Barber (CNNSI.com)

P.S.- I still love you CNNSI.....please keep linking my stuff!

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 8:53 AM


Jason Williams was heard saying..."yo yo yo, what dat mean homebwa?"

hollywood wags said...
Jun 14, 2007, 9:14:00 AM  

Actually, you hear white athletes praised for being articulate or well spoken all the time. For example, people refer to Curt Schilling as articulate (http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/91253). Here's a bio of Lindsey Jacobellis that refers to her as "well spoken" 9http://expn.go.com/expn/athletes/bio?id=3965). Here's an article that correctly points out that David Beckham is not articulate (http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/sports/story.html?id=6ff382e8-ef83-4484-bb57-65a958eeb3ae). Mallory Doran is a white softball player, and apparently she's articulate as well (http://www.greeleytrib.com/article/20070606/SPORTS/106060098). Basically, people don't expect athletes to be articulate, and when they are it's worth mentioning regardless of the color of their skin. Get off the high horse.

Premierophile said...
Jun 14, 2007, 10:55:00 AM  

Okay, so you have 4 examples compared to years of Black Athletes, Politician, and Businessmen being referred to as "well-spoken".

Even if it's only athletes...it's still ignorant. Most DID go to college.

Jun 14, 2007, 11:01:00 AM  

I could post a few thousand examples if you wanted me to...but I assume you're intelligent enough to do a Google search on your own. How long have athletes been referred to as well spoken? Years maybe? Decades...maybe even centuries. I'm not saying there hasn't been racist overtones to those types of statements in the past, but since MOST people are not that articulate, how about people just take it as a compliment when it's BLATANTLY OBVIOUS that is all that was intended by it.

Premierophile said...
Jun 14, 2007, 11:12:00 AM  

Either way (athletes/black athletes), I don't have a problem with someone being offended by that. It just shows an ignorance on the writer/researchers part.

If it wasn't an issue...why did CNNSI take it off the page?

I'm not on a high-horse here....just posing the question.

(P.S.- What is this Goo-Gle? you speak of???)

Jun 14, 2007, 11:20:00 AM  

>> Even if it's only athletes...it's still ignorant. Most DID go to college.

Since when did you have to be "articulate" to go to college on an athletic scholarship? Heck, I know tons of inarticulate people that went to college, athletes and non-athletes.

Listen, I hear ya. It should go without saying that someone going into Announcing or Politics should be somewhat articulate... which makes "articulate" a moot point as a descriptive term for a news article. And I think there's probably some truth to SI scrubbing being related to the Biden-Obama incident you mentioned.

HOWEVER... with regard to sports announcing as a profession, you should add in some context. This isn't a new issue, and it's not always a racial one. People have long complained that jocks-turned-announcers are given a pass for their lack of speaking ability.

40 years ago, Howard Cosell railed against the "jockocracy" -- and the guys he was criticizing were uniformly white. I would hope that someone with a blog titled "Awful Announcing" would be aware of that.

Frankly, I appreciate the insight that former athletes bring to announcing gigs -- but they have to have some semblance of language skills as well. Some are good (Tiki and Ronde, Marques Johnson, John Riggins, Randy Cross, Tim Legler are all outstanding). Some are not (Frank Gifford, OJ, Jerry Rice, Bill Walton -- okay, he's improving).

interrupted said...
Jun 15, 2007, 2:01:00 PM  

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