11/21/2009

Offensensitivity

And here I thought this country was now supposed to be beyond various sensitivities. But I guess not...

According to ESPN, two NBA commentators for on-air comments in which they pronounced the word Iranian as 'eye-ray-nian' instead of presumably 'Ear-ahh-nian'.
Clippers longtime play-by-play announcer Ralph Lawler and color analyst Michael Smith were suspended one game by the Fox Sports Prime Ticket cable network for their comments about Memphis center Hamed Haddadi.

Lawler and Smith made their off-the-cuff comments about the Iranian-born center during Wednesday night's telecast from Memphis. The on-air banter offended a viewer who e-mailed Fox to complain.

One measly emailer?? Talk about sensitive! Here is the stuff that apparently got the pair suspended:
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."
Granted some of their later banter is pretty juvenile, it is entirely innocent.

If all it takes is one lousy emailer to complain about the mispronounciation of a word to get a long-time professional suspended from their job, this country is indeed circling the drain. I mean it is not like he called him something mildly offensive like 'Ayatollah' or an even more derogatory epithet.

I guess I should not be surprised. I mean it actually has been like this for a long time. Take this Bloom County cartoon from the 1980s....


Perhaps hey should have called Haddadi a 'Teabagger', and then they would be OK....

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