â†µFollowing this story throughout the day yesterday, I was really hoping to avoid writing about this. But last night, Mike Greenberg, through ESPN PR, issued a clarification for a slip up on Monday's Mike and Mike in the Morning. â†µâ†µ
â†µIn short, Greenberg brought listeners back from a break with, what sounded like, "Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio talking football with you on this Martin Luther Coon – King – Jr. holiday…" â†µ
â†µIt seemed, at first, like the story would be nothing more than "OMG whatever Greeny just said, it sure sounded bad," and a few jokes at the host's expense. But the story had legs throughout the day, leading to the 'clarification' from ESPN. From what I can tell, it stemmed from a post by Robbert Littal of BlackSportsOnline.com, who posted the (above) video and insisted on an explanation and apology. Now, it's not for anyone to decide whether or not other people should be offended by something. If the situation was reversed and a black radio host was referencing the Jewish host's show and erroneously replaced the first M in Mike and Mike with a K, I would have fallen out of my chair. â†µâ†µ
â†µBut it seemed clear that this was just an unfortunate misspeak with no underlying racism – Littal wrote that a comment from Greenberg would suffice to squash the issue. Or maybe not. After saying "an apology would be enough for me" Littal wrote the following: â†µâ†µ
â†µâ‡¥Someone made the point it is quite possible that Greenberg was using the word off air and that is what caused the slip on air. â†µâ‡¥â†µSpeculation, and wholly irresponsible to suggest. It's one thing to ask for an apology because of something said on the air. It's another thing, entirely, to suggest that the reason for the on-air gaffe could have been because that's how the host talks off the air. The comments on BSO are mixed, but several posted agree with the speculation, adding fuel to this ridiculous fire.
â†µâ‡¥That is speculation, but there are plenty of people on the Mike and Mike in the Morning set, so I would hope if that was the case one of them would bring to management in what regards Greenberg was using the word. â†µâ‡¥â†µ
â†µThe post got linked on Deadspin and, well, you know how that goes. Internet explosions necessitating a response. Here is Greenberg's reply, in full: â†µ
â†µâ‡¥I just came home from the Knicks game and found out about the mess that was created by my garbling a sentence on our show this morning; I apologize for not addressing it sooner. â†µâ‡¥â†µI'm just waiting for someone to say the line "slurring my words" is culpability for using a racial epithet. Littal, who for full disclosure is a member of my blogger fantasy football league and all-around awesome guy, told me yesterday that he "was trying to be fair to Greeny" and considers it "a dead issue" at this point, before suggesting the host should still address it on the show.â†µ
â†µâ‡¥And I'm sorry that my talking too fast - and slurring my words - might have given people who don't know our show the wrong impression about us, and about me. â†µâ‡¥â†µâ‡¥
â†µâ‡¥I feel horrible about that, because nothing could be further away from who I am and what our show is about. â†µâ‡¥â†µâ‡¥
â†µâ‡¥I would never say anything like that, not in public, or in private, or in the silence of my own mind, and neither would anyone associated with our show, and I'm very sorry that my stumble this morning gave so many people the opposite impression. â†µâ‡¥â†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.