Thursday, November 26, 2009

On-Air Comments About Grizzlies' Hamed Haddadi Merit Suspension

(Cross-posted from Bleacher Report)

The Los Angeles Clippers' television broadcast team was suspended for one game because of on-air comments made about Memphis Grizzlies' center Hamed Haddadi.

Longtime Clippers announcer Ralph Lawler and broadcast analyst Michael Smith were pulled from the Clippers' game last Friday against Denver. Because the Clippers' feed was not seen in Memphis, the comments about the Iranian-born player did not get a lot of attention and became a footnote in a 106-91 Grizzlies win last week.

The team got into trouble because of one Clippers fan sent an email saying that the Lawler pronounced Iran as "Eye-ran," the Los Angeles Times reported. The fan only wanted to highlight the issue and was not demanding punishment.
But FOX responded with an apology and suspended the broadcast team.
In other on-air comments, the team also asked if Haddadi was "Borat's older brother" and "If they ever make a movie about Haddadi, I'm going to get Sacha Baron Cohen to play the part."
Everyone mispronounces words, including me. I hate that I do it. I thought that the the "Eye-ran" error was not worthy of a suspension, only because we would not have cable news anchors because most of them would be suspended for making the same mistake.
It does not make it right, but that is not a reason to pull them for one game. However, the "Borat's older brother" comment went a little over the line.
So I can live with the announcers sitting for one game. Lawler and Smith were cracking jokes (bad ones) during garbage time of a blowout loss. So a one-game suspension is fine with me.
Hey, they are forced to sit through 82 Clippers games every year. That is enough punishment for anyone.
You can watch a video of the comments here .
You can see a story along with a written transcript from the LA Times here .
What did you think of the decision? Justified? Not justified? PC run amok?
Note: You can listen to my weekly podcast called Memphis Grizzlies Report . Go to the website for past shows and show notes.

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