Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Bit Too Far

I'm certainly no defender of idiot sports broadcasters who say offensive things. (We can start with Bob Griese, but there's so many). But I'm not sure this from the Los Angeles Clippers announcers (which is depressing it its own right) really deserved a 1 game suspension:

Smith: "Look who's in."

Lawler: "Hamed Haddadi. Where's he from?"

Smith: "He's the first Iranian to play in the NBA." (Smith pronounced Iranian as "Eye-ranian," a pronunciation that offended the viewer who complained.)

Lawler: "There aren't any Iranian players in the NBA," repeating Smith's mispronunciation.

Smith: "He's the only one."

Lawler: "He's from Iran?"

Smith: "I guess so."

Lawler: "That Iran?"

Smith: "Yes."

Lawler: "The real Iran?"

Smith: "Yes."

Lawler: "Wow. Haddadi that's H-A-D-D-A-D-I."

Smith: "You're sure it's not Borat's older brother?"

Smith: "If they ever make a movie about Haddadi, I'm going to get Sacha Baron Cohen to play the part."

Lawler: "Here's Haddadi. Nice little back-door pass. I guess those Iranians can pass the ball."

Smith: "Especially the post players.

Lawler: "I don't know about their guards."

OK, so these guys are kind of dumb. But I don't see anything overly offensive here. I mean, just because Michael Smith pronounces Iranian like my Dad and about 100 million other people doesn't mean it's offensive. It just means he doesn't know anything about Iran. As for the Borat comment, that's tough--in American popular culture, there's about 2 things people are going to say about this area. One is that they are all terrorists, which is actually offensive and would deserve like a season-long suspension and the other is that they are kind of like Borat. And I don't even know what to say to that.