Here’s what Bryant Gumbel – host of HBO’s Real Sports – said during the sign-off for the February 7, 2006 show:
“Finally, tonight, the Winter Games. Count me among those who don’t like them and won’t watch them … Because they’re so trying, maybe over the next three weeks we should all try too. Like, try not to be incredulous when someone attempts to link these games to those of the ancient Greeks who never heard of skating or skiing. So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention. Try not to point out that something’s not really a sport if a pseudo-athlete waits in what’s called a kiss-and-cry area, while some panel of subjective judges decides who won … So if only to hasten the arrival of the day they’re done, when we can move on to March Madness — for God’s sake, let the games begin.”
You can watch the entire spew by clicking here. You probably should watch Gumbel spit out the above passage. Printed words just don’t do justice to the nonsense uttered by this guy.
Why insult thousands of athletes? Why impugn the motives and efforts of a multi-national coalition united in celebrating the achievements of their diverse cultures?
The reason is simple: Bryant Gumbel is a racist. Forget his juvenile attempt at political humor, he’s an intolerant redneck. He has no patience for any culture that doesn’t fit his idea of a proper culture.
Bryant Gumbel – for all his pseudointellectual pretense – is just another bigot who obviously feels that blacks are the world’s greatest athletes regardless of the endeavor. Gumbel is just as bad as the white idiots who say that blacks can’t be good quarterbacks. Or golfers. Or swimmers. What Gumbel said is worse than anything Jimmy the Greek, Al Campanis or Rush Limbaugh said.
Gumbel sees everything through the prism of skin color. He’s as ignorant as those bigots who said Jackie Robinson wasn’t fit to play Major League Baseball.
A big golf fan, does Gumbel avoid The Masters or the U.S. Open golf tournaments and view them with the same kind of comtempt he expressed toward the Winter Olympics?
Gumbel is the current best example of the double standard that exists out there with regards to being a racist. For a moment, just picture Andy Rooney saying the same thing about the NBA or about the Grammies, or about the NCAA tournament.
Imagine Terry Bradshaw saying that blacks are overrepresented at the quarterback position in the NFL. Or Howie Long saying that there are too many black defensive ends.
At face value Gumbel’s rant is laughable. If you heard these words and didn’t know from whom they came, you might just shrug them off, not giving the whole thing a second thought. Coming from Gumbel, these comments are off the hook, or “off the hiz-ook” if you will.
Gumbel’s the guy who married a girl who looks like she belongs at a GOP convention. Gumbel’s the guy who was accused by his wife of being a serial adulterer during their marriage, an adulterer who allegedly carried on with between 50 and 70 blonde women. That sounds like a cocktail party at a GOP convention!
I imagine this little speech coming from Bryant’s lips, “Honey, I’m sorry but I just can’t eat — your blonde hair and those blue eyes and our incredible wealth and our sitting here in this humongous mansion in Westchester, my membership at the Whippoorwill Golf Club just reminds me of a GOP convention… I need to get back to the ‘hood where my peeps really are.”
There can be a little outrage over what Gumbel said. But really, we should know better by now. And he shouldn’t be punished. He certainly shouldn’t lose his job. Free speech is free speech. And forget about an apology. The public apology has been rendered meaningless to the point beyond where it can be salvaged. Does anyone think that A) he would ever be asked to apologize, B) would apologize if told to, or C) would really be contrite? Forget the apology.
But Gumbel should be ridiculed, roundly ridiculed. He should be laughed at. What little credibility that he has should be tarnished as a result of him making these comments. He should be called a hypocrite and a fool. A racist.