September 16, 2008
During last night's game, ESPN's Tony Kornheiser uttered an apology, and no one seemed to know why. We were asked about it a few dozen times during the liveblog last night, and no one had a definitive answer. Enter the always-on-the-job Awful Announcing, who had the money quotes.
After listening to a snippet of the Spanish-language broadcast of the game in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Kornheiser said this:
"I took high school Spanish, either he said he's not going to be caught, or please pick up my dry cleaning tomorrow."
And later, this:
"I said something before which I shouldn't have said, I apologize for it. Not my first mistake, undoubtedly won't be my last, but a 100% apology."
Someone must've complained, or I doubt an apology would've ever made the airwaves. Evidently, the comments must have rubbed someone the wrong way, and that's alright. I'm not into telling people what should or shouldn't offend them.
But from what I can tell, Kornheiser didn't have any malicious intent there, nor did he intend to demean anyone. And before I say anything else, in the interest of full disclosure, I'll tell you that I didn't listen to the ESPN broadcast. I hooked up a Sirius joint at home so I could listen to the Westwood One broadcast while watching the game on TV. Tony Kornheiser is the one and only reason I did this.
But just from reading the quotes above, my best guess is that Kornheiser was making a "Look how silly I am, I don't understand Spanish!" gag. I don't think he was implying that a fellow of Hispanic descent should pick up his dry-cleaning, and I don't think he was implying that people of Hispanic descent should or do work predominately in the dry-cleaning industry.
So I don't expect any disciplinary action, and I certainly wouldn't expect Kornheiser to be fired. Although, judging from the comments we get during the liveblog, not many of you would mind if he was.
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