FanDuel - WFBC

October 14, 2006

Fox fires Steve Lyons for racially insensitive comment: The veteran broadcaster, responding to a few comments in Spanish last night by booth partner Lou Pinella, said he wasn't "hablaing Espanol."

posted by liam to baseball at 04:16 PM - 92 comments

I think we are going overboard with this "sensitivity" crap. I don't think anybody was hurt by these comments and if they were, too bad. People get their feelings hurt many times in many ways but they just "get over It" That's Life!!!

posted by The Woj at 04:26 PM on October 14

Lyons was basically insinuating that he doesn't trust Hispanic people and he made a mockery of their language. I like "Psycho", but I would hardly say that Fox went overboard by firing him for his racially insensitive remarks. Don't forget, Cosell made a comment about the length of black people's legs some years back and caught a shitstorm for it. I think Lyons' comments might have been more disrespectful. And by the way, if being insulted and not doing anything about it is part of life, that's not the type of life I would want to live.

posted by willthrill72 at 04:44 PM on October 14

Irrespective of whether anyone in that booth (or anyone watching, for that matter) was hurt by these comments, Fox is well within its rights to can an idiot announcer who is basically perpetuating dumb stereotypes. Lyons should have been fired long ago, for being a crap announcer and, more recently, for making fun of a visually impaired kid from the booth. To paraphrase a surly Irishman, I didn't rate Steve Lyons as a player, I don't rate him as an announcer and I don't rate him as a person. On the other hand, at least Piniella was not upset by the comments. I heard that after the game Piniella had a couple of his cousins squeeze together to make some room in the back of Piniella's El Camino so he could give Lyons a ride home.

posted by holden at 04:48 PM on October 14

fox became righteous???what about their slanted conservative news department. lyons is an idiot, but this is the kettle calling the kettle black

posted by arturo at 05:06 PM on October 14

I think we are going overboard with this "sensitivity" crap. I don't know about you and the mouse in your pocket, but I didn't actually hear the remark in question. If you didn't either, you might want to try to keep your knee from jerking. Context-free, that comment could be shaded one way or the other, but I expect that context and tone made it pretty obvious that it was said with an attitude of contempt towards Hispanics. Bear in mind that this is Fox, hardly a bastion of going-overboard sensitivity crap.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:14 PM on October 14

Just comment on the game. I would imagine there are a lot of people watching the game. Why would anyone say anything that could possibly be construed as being offensive to people of any race, sex, religion or whatever? Not a bright thing to do. Whether society is over-sensitive or not, that's just the way it is. You have to be careful what you say.

posted by Desert Dog at 05:51 PM on October 14

These days, it seems a person can't blow their nose without offending someone, racially, ethnically or sexually. Fox can hire and fire whoever they wish, but for crying out loud, was Lyons' remarks worthy of a dismissal? I don't believe they were said with the intent to offend. Will crying out loud offend anybody?

posted by ledzep77 at 05:59 PM on October 14

I didn't hear the comment, but it reads pretty harmless. It seems to me like mild ribbing at most.

posted by rcade at 06:10 PM on October 14

What LBB said. This is Fox, remember?

posted by owlhouse at 06:10 PM on October 14

I never thought I'd live long enough to say this, but: The people overreacting in this thread are not the fine, classy people at Fox Sports.

posted by chicobangs at 07:00 PM on October 14

I love the way the article brings up the fact he dropped his pants during his playing days. BURN THE HEATHEN! I dunno. From the story on here, it doesn't seem to bad, but reading the ESPN story it sounds otherwise. Of course I don't trust ESPN's slant on it. Any network will jump on the chance to bury another. So, THOSE WHO ACTUALLY HEARD AND SAW IT, what is your take? Since you're the only ones who can really comment.

posted by Drood at 07:09 PM on October 14

I swear I read an article earlier today that put Lyon's comments in a much more damning context but I can't find it again for the life of me. The ESPN link downplays it a bit from what I read earlier. I wish I had actually seen the or heard the incident. We all know how the media can be.

posted by willthrill72 at 07:22 PM on October 14

These days, it seems a person can't blow their nose without offending someone, racially, ethnically or sexually. If you blow it on their shirt, yes. And that, figuratively speaking, is what we're talking about. You might want to (re)read the article.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:36 PM on October 14

This seems like the kind of comment you can't judge by reading it, and I didn't hear it. So did anyone here hear it? Given that Lyons appears to be an insensitive clod, it certainly seems possible that he said something offensive purely by accident. Can't say I'm sorry to se him go, however. Can Thom Brennaman be next, please? I'm sure I can find lots of things he's said that are offensive to the heavily discriminated against group of people that actually have good taste.

posted by spira at 07:39 PM on October 14

I was born and raised in America and I am completely, totally and psychologically offended by Lou Pinella speaking spanish on the Fox network. I demand he be fired immediately for his hurtful, insensitive actions obviously intended to belittle english speaking American citizens.

posted by jaygolf at 07:55 PM on October 14

I'm reminded of Dennis Miller in one of his rants talking about Andy Rooney making homophobic comments on "60 Minutes" at one point: "Should he be able to say it? Yes. Is he right? Of course he isn't. Should CBS fire him? Yes...not because of the homophobic comments, but because this motherf***er hasn't said anything funny in 15 years." Sounds to me like Fox was looking for an excuse to get rid of him and found one, because if that was all they fired him for, it was an incredibly stupid decision. Bitch about their news division all you want, but the hypocrisy to me seems to be that this is coming from the people who brought us "The Littlest Groom", which was nothing more than one big midget joke.

posted by TheQatarian at 07:57 PM on October 14

I tend to believe Lyons when he says his comments were a joke and in no way racially motivated. I've got a buddy who makes the same kinds of comments all the time. And when he makes them, someone rolls their eyes or gets upset. My buddy is clueless as to why they're getting worked up. Lyons probably is to. But this talk about over sensitivity and society not being able to take a joke is off the mark. Society didn't fire Lyons. FOX did. And though it hasn't been mentioned yet on this thread about free speech, Lyons, as a (former) employee, doesn't really have that right. Not on the clock anyway. I agree with TheQatarian. Some corporate head at FOX was just looking for an excuse to can Lyons, though I wouldn't call it hypocrisy. Just business.

posted by forrestv at 08:06 PM on October 14

I heard the comment and it was a suprise to hear. They way he did say it did seem he was aiming his missing wallet to Hispanics. I did not appreciate the comment and I think Fox did the right thing, for once.

posted by kidrayter2005 at 08:41 PM on October 14

I heard the comment, and personally I just blew it off due to stupidity. Plus I was tuning the commentary out (Piniella should really stick to coaching) and watching the game. I didn't know of Lyons' previous screwups until I read them in the link. I do think that his comments were way off base, and since it actually was not his first offense, I think that FOX made the right call in firing him.

posted by wingnut4life at 09:11 PM on October 14

You know what's funny? Not five seconds after I heard Steve Lyons' comments during last night's game I said out loud, "Well, he's fired." And that's not because I was offended by his comments. I've simply been around long enough to know that in this day and age when you say something like that, you're gonna be fired. I did think Lyons crossed a line last night. I can easily see how people of hispanic origins would be offended by what he said.

posted by Greenmiles at 09:50 PM on October 14

Lyons said that Piniella was "hablaing Espanol" -- butchering the conjugation for the word "to speak" -- and added, "I still can't find my wallet." May, "hablar," rest in peace. Butchered. Damn.

posted by tselson at 09:59 PM on October 14

Lou Piniella is hispanic?? Really? Wow, for some reason I always figured he was Italian. I'm an idiot. I think I just offended myself. Actually, Lyons is an idiot. Getting paid for commenting on a baseball game, that's a tough job alright, so he lightens things up with a little racist humor. Moron, go find a real job now. They should put Lasorda in the booth, haha, just have a finger on the delay button. It's a good thing they don't have a mic in the dugout, there wouldn't be any players or coaches left by the time everyone got booted for making some inappropriate comment during a game. If I offended anyone with my comments, I sincerely apologize.

posted by eccsport78 at 10:02 PM on October 14

I really doubt that Lyons was trying to offend anyone, but that doesn't matter. The problem is that he's too socially unaware for it to even occur to him that his comments might not go over well. If it was his first slip, maybe it slides, but it's part of a pattern. FOX got it right.

posted by ctal1999 at 10:54 PM on October 14

Surprise. An ex-baseball player nicknamed 'Psycho' says something stupid, and network fires him. Note to Fox's management: Perhaps you should not hire guys nicknamed Psycho? God, I can't stand Fox's baseball coverage anyway. I hate the constant closeups of the pitcher's nose, although the hockey puckish pitch tracker was sort of cool. Guess they needed to find a use for that technology.

posted by sfts2 at 11:46 PM on October 14

"hablaing Espanol" -- butchering the conjugation for the word "to speak" If Spanish speaking people got fired everytime they butchered the English language, then a large majority of the Spanish speaking people in the US would be un-employed. (Including my girlfriend)

posted by SunnySide at 12:58 AM on October 15

First of all what the heck was Pinella speaking Spanish on the Fox Ennglish speaking channel for? That in itself is very inappropiate. If he wants to speak Spanish on the air let him do it the Spanish speaking channels. Maybe Fox should fire Pinella for offending all the non-Spanish speaking people who were watching the broadcast. Lyons (and I don't know him) may be the idiot as you all say he is but come on .....this is a comment made in fun in reponse to inappropiate comments by Pinella. It should not be enough to fire someone over. If someone got fired everytime a comment of this nature was made then no one would be working in this country. this country has become way too sensitve and all this PC crap has gone too far. I am Irish and I am not offended by people when the call the Irish a nation of drunks. I just sit back and open and open aother beer. LOL.

posted by patrickm at 05:41 AM on October 15

God, I can't stand Fox's baseball coverage anyway. It's better than ESPN. Unless you get a kick out of hearing the words this isn't the same Kenny Rogers.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 06:54 AM on October 15

Okay, this is the network that airs programs such as "Hell's Kitchen," "The Simpsons," "House," "King of the Hill" (just to name a few)...NOW they are worried about "sensitivity" and "offending others"?! Sounds like a double standard to me.

posted by txruncoach at 07:15 AM on October 15

Wow, this thread really brought out the nativists, huh? Maybe Fox should fire Pinella for offending all the non-Spanish speaking people who were watching the broadcast. Lyons (and I don't know him) may be the idiot as you all say he is but come on .....this is a comment made in fun in reponse to inappropiate comments by Pinella. Piniella was not speaking full Spanish sentences in the booth -- he was using terms/phrases (e.g., "en fuego") that you actually hear regularly on Sports Center and other sports programs. I don't see how that is inappropriate (actually, I don't even see how speaking full Spanish sentences would necessarily be inappropriate, but that really goes beyond what's required here).

posted by holden at 07:32 AM on October 15

So I am not offended by the comment nor do I see anything to get upset about. So based on some of the logic presented by individuals above, can I now be offened that some of you were offended by Steve's comments. I think I can! Do you see how ridiculous this can become?

posted by panteeze at 07:42 AM on October 15

I heard the comment and I wasn't offended. To me, it sounded like one ballplayer trying to kid another one. Should a 'color man' be more careful? Probably... but his firing, in my opinion, says more about us than it does about him. In contemporary America today, if you have a high profile position, God forbid that you should ever try to keep it loose in the booth. Yes, Psycho is probably a loose cannon... should it cost him his job for what he said? I think not. Just my opinion...

posted by Broncobob at 07:52 AM on October 15

You (not-so) closeted racists who've come out in this thread crowing about PC-this and can't-take-a-joke-that are completely missing the point. (Way to show your true colors, though, guys.) If you're marketing your broadcast in large part to Hispanics, which Fox is (and any smart American baseball broadcast should), then don't make fun of their language on the air. They tend not to like that.

posted by chicobangs at 09:17 AM on October 15

So based on some of the logic presented by individuals above, can I now be offened that some of you were offended by Steve's comments. I think I can! You can be as offended as you want, but we don't work for you. Why is this so hard for you people to get? An employer, one that is historically dense as a lead pipe on matters of sensitivity, judged that, while acting in his capacity as public face of the organization, an employee spoke in a manner that did not reflect well on the establishment. Welcome to the world of work, teenagers! Learn from this little workplace faux pas, or you too are likely to fall into the very same pit when you get a job some day! Meanwhile, all of you people blowing a gasket over this firing, please stop with the 'I'm outraged!" crap, or at least read each other's comments -- you're all reciting the same highly unoriginal line. If you're going to be a drama queen, for god's sake, at least be an original drama queen.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:24 AM on October 15

Chico, I'm sure there may be some racism woven into some of the previous comments, but maybe not as much as you seem to think. So many of these situations are totally dependent on context. If these were comments made between a couple of buddies in the locker room, I don't think there'd be an issue. I keep thinking back to the scene from "Brian's Song" where Brian and Gale are arguing. Brian calls Sayers a nigger and Gale laughs his ass off because he knows that Pic loves him and the idea that he'd use that term, and MEAN it, was absurd. That statement was made in anger, and you'd think that comments made in jest would be easier to accept. That's where context comes into the picture. Comments between friends, filtered through the lens of an intimate knowledge of one another, can be perfectly acceptable or even funny. The same exchanges in a different atmosphere can cause brawls, or worse. Some of the earlier comments look like there are SpoFi members who don't get that any better than Lyons did. Personally, I think that we can all be too thin skinned these days, but that doesn't mean that nothing should be considered to be offensive either. I think the reaction is often excessive in relation to the offense, but that's not going to change over night. Maybe we are too PC, but that's not new. If Lyons doesn't know that, or he's too slow to be able to self censor his commentary, FOX was right to dump him, if only for business reasons (pissing off a large portion of your target audience is usually bad for biz). Maybe an apology would have satisfied the audience, but I don't blame FOX for not counting on that or not trusting Lyons to not screw that up too.

posted by ctal1999 at 10:15 AM on October 15

If you blow it on their shirt, yes. And that, figuratively speaking, is what we're talking about This would only serve to offend the handkerchiefs who immigrated to America seeking a better life.

posted by ledzep77 at 10:27 AM on October 15

Lyons es un idiota. Pero todo el plitically corrige fuera allÝ necesidad de darle un descanso. La cuenta Dana hizo una carrera como Jose Jiminez que mata el idioma inglÚs. He should have been fired solely for being bad at his job.

posted by budman13 at 10:29 AM on October 15

Lyons was comfortable on a personal level speaking that way with Lou. We all pick and choose what we say and who we say it to. Racial differences have been the fodder of many a jokester for as long as I can remember. Timing and proper venue seem to dictate whether anyone cares if its PC or not. This was wrong place wrong time.

posted by Fillyfan711 at 11:44 AM on October 15

Chico, revisit why? My point was only that I didn't think that Lyons was trying to be offensive (and he was too stupid to realize what he'd done), and I didn't get the impression that many of the SpoFiers to which you ascribed racial motives had anything of the sort in mind (though some surely did). I think that many of them were simply railing against the tendency that's developed for people to get overly upset about the tiniest slight (whether it's racial, or religious, or disability related, etc., etc.). I'm not trying to be a smart ass. I just don't see what you'd take issue with there, considering that you understood my point to begin with. I'd like to understand where you're coming from on this, so fill me in if you have a minute.

posted by ctal1999 at 12:39 PM on October 15

The post here on Sportsfilter makes the comment seem like nothing, but reading the full article shows that there is history and background, and so it seems as though it was meant with racist intent. Course, you'd really need to have heard it in context. And I'm Irish and am insulted with we get called a nation of drunks. Just because there are a few wonderful drunks here doesn't mean we all are ;)

posted by Fence at 12:46 PM on October 15

I think that many of them were simply railing against the tendency that's developed for people to get overly upset about the tiniest slight (whether it's racial, or religious, or disability related, etc., etc.). ctal, ther's a much more pronounced tendency, one that's been around a lot longer, for members of the dominant group to want to be free of the consequences of their offensive behavior -- up to and including not even hearing someone say, "Hey, that's offensive!" It's a move in the right direction to have most (not all) people acknowledge that it's not right for people to use racial insults on the air, but when that's immediately followed by a barrage of, "Oh, but we're bending over backwards and everybody's too PEEEEEEE CEEEEEEEE!!!!" -- a barrage so loud as to drown out any discussion or reflection on the original offense (gee, funny how that works, isn't it?), then we haven't moved nearly far enough.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:15 PM on October 15

I think Pinella's comments were offensive to any group of people who lost their wallets on a Friday.

posted by ledzep77 at 05:14 PM on October 15

L_b_b, for the most part, I agree with you. Remember, I said FOX did the right thing. I was just pointing out that not only do some people use the "too PC" excuse every time there's a complaint, but there are those who continuously complain about absolutely inconsequential things. People like that actually take away from the cause in general because others get sick of hearing it (and I'm not saying that was the case with Lyons). It's sort of like dealing with a hypochondriac. You hear so much bitching and complaining about how sick they are that you tend to ignore them when they finally end up being legitimately sick. I'm not saying don't complain (and I'm not implying that the Lyons incident wasn't worthy of complaint), just that too much complaining can backfire and result in people no longer wanting to hear it. Right or wrong, I got the feeling that most of the negative comments posted here were due to a feeling of "enough already" rather than a hatred of hispanics. I didn't say that I agree with them, just that I thought Chico was mistaken about their motivation in many cases. It was just the impression that I got, so I could be all wet. My point was just to say that if you cry wolf too often, you shouldn't be surprised if people start to tell you to go to hell. If you're going to make a big deal of something, just make sure that it's worthy of the commotion. Don't waste your efforts and credibility on the picayune. As an aside, I'd be absolutely stunned if any barrage was sufficient to drown you out. You're about as strident and effective in defending your positions as anyone I've ever encountered. Don't sweat it. Even in writing, your voice carries.

posted by ctal1999 at 05:54 PM on October 15

there are those who continuously complain about absolutely inconsequential things. People like that actually take away from the cause in general because others get sick of hearing it That's true; however, I think it's worth recognizing that there's another reason why some people don't want to hear about racism, and that's because it makes them uncomfortable...for a lot of reasons, but one big one, I think, is because they know that it's wrong, but they're not targets and therefore they haven't tried to do anything about it. There are, quite frankly, a lot of white people in the US -- in the world -- who are less comfortable discussing issues of racism than they are with allowing racism to go on without a word or a blink, just as long as it does it quietly and not in their face. To people who are of this mindset, any complaint is "too much". So, sure, I'll go along with the idea that most of the negative comments here were out of a feeling of "enough already". But I also think that in at least some of these cases, "enough" = "any", and no, I don't respect that reaction. I understand that people get tired of hearing about difficult problems; I understand that racism is one of those problems that defies easy and simple solutions. But who ever promised us that we'd only get easy problems in life? The more we refuse to grapple with 'em, the more they remain there for us to grapple with. BTW: Phyllis Schlafly and Co. have quite successfully managed to turn the word "strident" into a most blatant insult, not that it was ever used with kindly intent.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:10 PM on October 15

If that's what it took for FOX to fire Lyons, then maybe there is still hope for baseball broadcasting?

posted by grum@work at 07:22 PM on October 15

There are, quite frankly, a lot of white people in the US -- in the world -- who are less comfortable discussing issues of racism than they are with allowing racism to go on without a word or a blink, just as long as it does it quietly and not in their face To label a race of people by means of personal perception is not only offensive and racist, but ignorant as well.

posted by ledzep77 at 07:23 PM on October 15

L_b_b, sounds like we're in agreement again. As I'd said, some of the comments were probably flat out racially motivated. I think your point about other reactions being an avoidance reflex is pretty sound, too. I've found that people in that mode can often be persuaded if you tamp down any urges to get confrontational, but they're already in a defensive mood for the most part, so the honey over vinegar approach seems best. Just for reference, I didn't mean "strident" as a cut down. I meant strongly insistent, maybe even vehement, not shrill or harsh (though you're not afraid to be harsh if you feel that it's warranted). Perhaps ardent or enthusiastic would have been better choices.

posted by ctal1999 at 07:28 PM on October 15

Why is this so hard for you people to get? What do you mean "you people"? What's that supposed to mean?

posted by vicmd45 at 08:21 PM on October 15

What do you mean "you people"? What's that supposed to mean? it means those people who feel an employee's opinion about appropriate forms of expression while acting as a representative of one's employer should count for more than the employer's opinion about said expression.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:38 PM on October 15

ctal, yup -- we're in agreement. I'll also admit I'm surprised Fox canned him. I figure it had to be one of two things: either the phones got hammered after Lyons said what he did, or he already had one foot out the door and the other on a vaselined flounder.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:43 PM on October 15

it means those people who feel an employee's opinion about appropriate forms of expression while acting as a representative of one's employer should count for more than the employer's opinion about said expression. Great double-speak!

posted by ledzep77 at 10:09 PM on October 15

Great double-speak! How is that double speak? There is no distortion of content or meaning.

posted by grum@work at 10:17 PM on October 15

Where was the fallout when Bryant Gumble makes remarks about the winter olympics and the lack of true (black) athletes. Oh Ya, he gets the gig on the NFL network for Thursday night games. Rush makes a "True" statement about McNabb NOT winning anything and getting high profile endorsments. He gets the boot. Michael Irvin smokes crack, he gets vacation. Ozzie Guillen makes homophobic remarks, says "Sorry" nothing happens. Anyone see a trend. If your in the majority you pay the ultimate price, minority, a slap on the wrist. Green Day has it right.

posted by patsfan73 at 11:37 PM on October 15

Hablaing Espanol is when you go to a Mexican resterant for breakfast and order eggs by saying "quero juevos". Now that'll get you in trouble.

posted by rollfastbyu at 12:04 AM on October 16

Where was the fallout when Bryant Gumble makes remarks about the winter olympics and the lack of true (black) athletes. I'm assuming this is a question. There was plenty of fallout. They were building the NFL Network around him, and they reconsidered doing that. He was also one of the half-dozen most respected sporting broadcasters in the business, with decades of experience behind him. If you're comparing Bryant Gumbel to a mouthy upstart idioit jock like Steve Lyons, well, that's no comparison at all. And I won't dignify the Limbaugh comparison. (Welcome, patsfan73 and all others who've posted for the first time in this thread. Read the guidelines, especially the bits about racist thread content, before you post again.)

posted by chicobangs at 12:21 AM on October 16

Rush makes a "True" statement about McNabb NOT winning anything and getting high profile endorsments. He gets the boot. Wow. I know it was almost 3 years ago, but did you think about checking the facts first? 1) Limbaugh resigned. He wasn't fired. 2) The reason he got in trouble wasn't for the fact that McNabb wasn't winning and getting high profile endorsements, but for this politically charged statement during a sports pre-game show: "The sports media, being liberals just like liberal media is elsewhere, have a desire that black quarterbacks excel and do very well so that their claims that blacks are being denied opportunity can be validated." Anyone see a trend. If your in the majority you pay the ultimate price, minority, a slap on the wrist. Green Day has it right. I'm sure getting your information from a pseudo-punk band is what keeps you up-to-date with societal trends.

posted by grum@work at 12:28 AM on October 16

Most people who can easily make statements like "Society is too PC today" or "People overreact to the smallest things" in response to backlash for racist/sexist/homophobic/etc comments just don't understand what it's like to be the subject of those kinds of comments at a national level. Two friends of different races joking amongst each other is completely different than a representative of a major broadcasting company making the same joke. The problem is people make judgements of others' situations without being able to truly put themselves in the others' shoes. The mentality is, "I wouldn't care if someone made a racist joke about my race, so what are they getting so worked up about?" Without experiencing what it's like to be judged negatively because of someone else's perception of you, it would be hard to understand why "small" comments like Lyons's fire people up. If nothing else, healthy discussion about these topics won't hurt anybody. I don't understand why some posters are so hostile, as if we are trying to take away Lyons's right to free speech. All we're doing is exercising our right to free speech. If you read with an open mind you might even learn something.

posted by radrguy at 02:05 AM on October 16

if you are going to speak english on this page you must incude words in french german italian slavic spanish and so on people have feelings GIVE ME A BREAK

posted by briredd61 at 07:01 AM on October 16

Great double-speak! It's not doublespeak at all. If Fox decided that Lyons' "hablaing Espanol" remark would hurt the company, they have the right to can him. Personally I think they overreacted, but there could be more going on behind the scenes. For instance, and this is only a hypothetical, the guy's off the air behavior could give them reason to believe that his remarks were racially motivated.

posted by rcade at 07:27 AM on October 16

On the other hand, at least Piniella was not upset by the comments. I heard that after the game Piniella had a couple of his cousins squeeze together to make some room in the back of Piniella's El Camino so he could give Lyons a ride home. holden: Me being latino, I find that comment to be out of line. That was not even close to being funny. It's a Toyota, El Camino's only have two seats. I actually thought Steve Lyon's comments were pretty funny. Idiotic, but funny.

posted by BornIcon at 07:30 AM on October 16

brireddwtf, welcome to SportsFilter, where people are generally educated enough to understand a word or two in a language other than English, and if they don't, are emotionally and intellectually mature enough not to blow a gasket over it. The guidelines are right here.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:31 AM on October 16

Apparently Fox was'nt happy with Lyons' broadcasting performance and Lyons' perceived comments only served as a convenient out. If a person listens to the audio of the exchange among broadcasters, it clearly shows light hearted banter between colleagues. If anyone out there wants to buy what Fox is trying to peddle, I know of a bridge in Brooklyn you might be interested in.

posted by ledzep77 at 08:30 AM on October 16

I didn't hear the comment, but it reads pretty harmless. It seems to me like mild ribbing at most. Well, I heard it, and I must admit - it barely registered. I have to side with the people that are suggesting it's an overreaction from Fox (I like the part where they are sensitive to their latino viewers, but also broadcast a news program that keeps suggesting that there should be a wall in Texas to keep them out), but is just as likely indicative of their desire to get rid of Lyons anyway. There is much not known, here - and this is a convenient scenario if that is the case. If it's not, I'd suggest that Lyons doesn't deserve the racist label. When it comes to the people bemoaning PC thuggery and whatnot, sometimes I feel that these people just can't really articulate their point about extremes very well, and just fall on this available mantra because it's cheap and loaded. It's the Saturday night special of arguments. And were I them, this is the precise kind of situation where it seems to apply. Lyons comments didn't strike me as particularly offensive and certainly didn't come across as mean spirited and politically charged.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:39 AM on October 16

FOX had to fire a real person, it isn't like they can fire their other Fox personalities that make a mockery of another ethnic group, ie Abu or Willy. True I think you have to keep in mind that you are talking to millions of people and not your friend/co-worker who happens to be hispanic. I do have one last comment speaking to the above comments about black quarterbacks. Why is it that the media and sportcasters alike refer to them as "Athletic" when they don't use that same reference for whites? I find that more racist since they are clearing using it in place of "black." This years draft I kept hearing Leinart was a "smart" quarterback and Young is an "Athletic" quarterback. Why isn't there more backlash for this?

posted by warstda at 09:23 AM on October 16

warstda, I think you more or less put your finger on it. The cleverer your code words, the more you can get away without being called on.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:03 AM on October 16

The cleverer your code words, the more you can get away without being called on. ie: "you people"

posted by ledzep77 at 10:10 AM on October 16

warstda, that was probably because of Young's amazingly poor score on the Wonderlic Test, a whole 6 out of 50 possible. Personally, I think too much was made of it. Let's judge his results on the field.

posted by mjkredliner at 10:23 AM on October 16

warstda, for the same reason that Larry Bird was a "smart, tough, hard-working" player, while Michael Jordan was a "phenomenal natural athlete." Personally, I think Larry Legend had more than a little natural ability, and I'm guessing that M.J. put in more than a few hours in the gym perfecting his game. Code words for everybody!

posted by The_Black_Hand at 10:48 AM on October 16

This is a joke! Who honestly believes that Lyons actually meant this as a racial slur? If so, is it ok for Pinella to make a comment about "stealing wallets?" Isn't that as bad as Lyon's comments? Or is it ok for a member of one race to make derrogatory comments about his own race? This whole "racial sensitivity" issue, as it pertains to public broadcasting-sportscasters specifically, has been blown way out of proportion! Society can easily determine when a comment is meant to be derrogatory. Everybody who heard/ saw the broadcast knew in their heart-of-hearts that neither Pinella nor Lyons meant ANYTHING by their comments. I barely noticed the comment at all- actually just chuckled when Lyon's made his comment. We gotta lighten up in this country!

posted by IRUNNIKE87 at 10:51 AM on October 16

One more quick note. Weedy McSmokey made a comment about Fox wanting to get rid of Lyons. Probably accurate, but certainly not the way to handle it.

posted by IRUNNIKE87 at 10:53 AM on October 16

When it comes to the people bemoaning PC thuggery and whatnot, sometimes I feel that these people just can't really articulate their point about extremes very well, and just fall on this available mantra because it's cheap and loaded. It's the Saturday night special of arguments. This is right on, thanks Weedy.

posted by tron7 at 10:54 AM on October 16

Sorry to get a rise out of you Chico and Grum. The fact is that Rush WASN'T coming back even though at the time the two guys on the set were nodding in approval and didn't have anything to say after the comments were made. It wasn't until far later when other media picked up on it and were "shocked", that the fallout occured. So he resigned, BEFORE being fired. Also while I may have not purchased a Green Day disc in over a decade you must have missed them all over the NFL opening game, MTV and various mags over the past twelve months with the ability to influence millions of young minds. While you and I may have the ability not to be brainwashed by their music, someone must like what there hearing, because I don't think the typical NFL ticket holder (35-50 year old guy) is rocking to them either. As far as the guidlines go I'm not sure what your talking about. I do not think I made any out of line remarks. With the exception of Rush resigning before being fired, all were just statements of actual events. Unfortunaly with all of the channels and all of the slurping of players on all of the pregame shows these things are going to happen more often because we have fewer talented people on air. I just wonder how many more ex-players ESPN can fit in their studio. That show bites.

posted by patsfan73 at 10:57 AM on October 16

ie: "you people" Spelling it out isn't enough for you, huh? Well, sorry, you're on your own. And you seem to be running with it. Just don't trip over the little kid's bicycle in the dark.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:01 AM on October 16

If so, is it ok for Pinella to make a comment about "stealing wallets?" If one notes that Sweet Lou never mentioned ethnicity at all (his comment was about the wisdom of trying to get back-to-back great games out of a bench player), it is. If you ignore it to make some misty point, maybe not.

posted by yerfatma at 11:16 AM on October 16

While you and I may have the ability not to be brainwashed by their music, someone must like what there hearing, because I don't think the typical NFL ticket holder (35-50 year old guy) is rocking to them either. Or, maybe the typical 35-50 year old NFL ticket holder has been brainwashed already by the music of Toby Keith and Lee Greenwood?

posted by psmealey at 11:31 AM on October 16

I think Green Day lyrics are being hugely misinterpreted here. "I want to be the minority I dont need your authority Down with the moral majority cause I want to be the minority" These lyrics should not be interpreted to mean, "I want to be a racial minority so I can get away with racially charged wisecracks". It's more like "If disagreeing with the [conservative] 'values coalition' is wrong, I don't want to be right."

posted by Venicemenace at 12:13 PM on October 16

I'm German, French, and Swedish. Should I be offended by programs which depict Germans as stupid and demand the program be taken off the air? Should I be offended every time someone attempts to speak with a Swedish accent and really butchers it? Should I be offended every time a French woman is portrayed as promiscuous and demand the movie or TV program be banned? I was born here, but my ancestors came to this country because it's a free country. Yeah, Steve Lyons made a stupid remark. Cause for reprimand? Yes! Firing? No!

posted by JayDee at 12:27 PM on October 16

Yeah, Steve Lyons made a stupid remark. Cause for reprimand? Yes! Firing? No! Pinella should be reprimanded for not knowing what a GED is, but not fired.

posted by ledzep77 at 01:02 PM on October 16

Pinella should be reprimanded for not knowing what a GED is, but not fired ledzep77: Where did that come from?

posted by BornIcon at 03:54 PM on October 16

Piniella's analogy about finding (he mentioned nothing about 'stealing' anything) a wallet one day and then hoping to find more wallets some other day may have been a little awkward, but it was entirely appropriate and accurate in context. Lyons took it out of context and added the insensitivity on all by himself. I agree that it's clear he was already on his last chance with Fox before this, especially since similar gaffes and insensitivities had happened before. This isn't like two drunks talking loudly in a bar. There are millions of people listening, every last one of them a ratings point and a pair of eyeballs for the advertisers. And that's the only thing that matters.

posted by chicobangs at 05:01 PM on October 16

I think Green Day lyrics are being hugely misinterpreted here I was hoping someone would point that out.

posted by owlhouse at 06:33 PM on October 16

Should I be offended every time someone attempts to speak with a Swedish accent and really butchers it? Watching the Muppet Show must have been interesting. Piniella's analogy about finding (he mentioned nothing about 'stealing' anything) a wallet one day and then hoping to find more wallets some other day may have been a little awkward, but it was entirely appropriate and accurate in context. I thought it was one of the most astute things said in the FOX broadcast booth in about 5 years.

posted by grum@work at 09:25 PM on October 16

I know my post early yesterday wasn't PC but it was my opinion,wasn't racist,homophobic,etc.,etc.,etc.So why was it taken off the site?Too tough to handle for YOUR rigid PC mind?HISPANICS ARE NOT A RACE but a CULTURE!!!LET'S GET OUR BASAL ASSUMPTIONS right befor we start a discussion.

posted by timmerex at 03:28 AM on October 17

Did anyone really like listening to Lyons? He made my ears bleed. Let's not put too much thought into this. He just wasn't that good.

posted by SummersEve at 03:29 AM on October 17

timmerex: Uh yeah, the whole race v culture thing, it's a battle of semantics and when it comes down it it pretty irrelevant. The fact of the matter that the guy said some pretty insensitive things. Intolerance is the issue, not whether you describe a group of people as a culture or a race.

posted by apoch at 06:24 AM on October 17

LET'S GET OUR BASAL ASSUMPTIONS right befor we start a discussion "In phylogenetics, basal members of a group diverged earlier than a subgroup of others (or vice versa)." Learn something new everyday.

posted by yerfatma at 06:27 AM on October 17

HISPANICS ARE NOT A RACE but a CULTURE timmerex: WHAT?!!? What does that mean? I'm latino and there is no way that being 'Hispanic' is a culture. We have our own culture just like every other race.

posted by BornIcon at 07:01 AM on October 17

LET'S GET OUR BASAL ASSUMPTIONS right befor we start a discussion. We could also get our grammar and spelling right before we start a discussion. And learning how to use the space bar wouldn't be a bad thing, either. If you write like shit, people tend to skip your input, no matter how many big capital letters you use.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 09:48 AM on October 17

Me being latino, I find that comment to be out of line. That was not even close to being funny. It's a Toyota, El Camino's only have two seats. I believe Lyons got a ride in the back (pickup truck-esque bed part) of the El Camino. Speaking of code words like "Athletic" v. "Smart" or "Scrappy" (always given to diminutive white guys like David Eckstein), one that I always hate to see (in both athletics and other arenas) is "Articulate." Maybe I'm just on the lookout for this, but I almost always see this applied to black people. It's like there's a baseline assumption that black people are not articulate, so we need that qualifier. Compare and contrast how many times you see a white athlete/politician/public figure called articulate versus a black athlete/politician/puiblic figure described that way. /rant

posted by holden at 11:26 AM on October 17

As a native american I just have one question... The Indians weren't playing the Braves were they?? We couldn't have anything racially insensitive going on while the fans do the Tomohawk Chop and the big nosed cartoony Injun dances around, can we? It does appear that there are double standards at play and that the real truth of it is when you do color commentary for a sport that is most popular among hispanics, don't make fun of hispanics. Of course, one would hope that their outrage at FOX and their insane race baiting would cause them to look elsewhere for entertainment... Oh, so long as it's not part of the Baseball Game, I don't mind that Sean Hannity will be giving oral to Pat Buchannan's book on the other channel, sponsored by the same advertisers. Viva Baseball! (Oops, was that racist?) I have no idea the context of the comments, and I have to assume they're worse than they read... But anyone who can rail about this and still support a league that welcomes "Chief Wahoo" shown on a channel that pimps the "Reconquista" lunacy as fact may need to sit down for a long think.... Good to know America is normal again.

posted by LostInDaJungle at 02:26 PM on October 17

So A Latino is a separate race.Very interesting.I know Latinos who are Caucasian,mulattos,Indian,Negros who are also Hispanic according to the dictionary definition.Some even wish they were of Pure Spanish heritage.The Random House Dictionary defines Hispanic as 1.Spanish.2.Latin American.A Latin is someone who speaks A Romance language derived from ancient Rome.To call them a separate race is STUPID!(sorry for the capitalization did not mean to offend your sensitive sensibilities)

posted by timmerex at 08:07 PM on October 18

timmerex, you're the only one who's said anything about latinos being "a separate race". What, are you arguing with yourself?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:44 PM on October 18

Like my Dad always said, "Son, that's a racist statement, and only thing worse than a racist is a Mexican."

posted by smithnyiu at 12:46 PM on October 21

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