When ESPN’s Adnan Virk used an ill-advised metaphor to talk about coach Charlie Strong’s situation at Texas, the Twitter backlash was swift.
Virk, who was hosting ESPN’s College Scoreboard, told co-hosts Joey Galloway and Danny Kanell, “It’s getting awfully tight right now, the noose around Charlie Strong’s neck.”
"The noose is getting awfully tight around Charlie Strong's neck"
Nice job from PC ESPN pic.twitter.com/lUc55qNAiL
— DavidNoLongerInAlief (@DavidInAlief) October 22, 2016
Virk probably didn’t think much of his choice of words as they flowed from his mouth and were somewhat disregarded by his co-hosts, but many took offense considering the historical connotations of nooses, especially for African-Americans.
Strong is black.
Virk quickly took to Twitter to apologize.
I used a poor choice of words during a discussion about Coach Strong's performance. It was inappropriate and ill-advised. My apologies
— Adnan Virk, ESPN (@adnanESPN) October 22, 2016
Strong is on the hot seat at Texas as his team is off to an abysmal start to the season. After losing a back-and-forth battle against Kansas State on Saturday, the Longhorns are now 3-4 on the season and 1-3 in conference play — in a season where the Big 12 might be the worst Power 5 conference in the nation. They now have league losses to K-State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
The embattled coach is now just 14-18 at Texas.
Clearly, Virk didn’t use the metaphor with any malicious intent, but in a year where race and football have collided in ways we haven’t seen before, he’ll likely choose his words more carefully next time.