'Hot Mics' and the Cold Apologies
Updated: Sep 1, 2020
The annoyance, the audacity, and ridiculousness. Wash, rinse, repeat of loose lips.
Giphy of Viola Davis, "How To Get Away With Murder"
I'm tired folks. Exhausted. Not physically, but emotionally. Why? The past several months has shown many people revealing who they truly are and not giving a care who knows. The "Karens" as people have called them (which I hate that reference being used because I had an amazing loved one that we lost last year) , have been caught one numerous social media sites, spewing out derogatory words to people of a different race and of color. It has caused a rift, a divide, and outcry, louder and stronger than I've ever seen on my 47 years on this planet. But now, we are seeing those who are in the position of sports announcing, blogging, hosting, falling into that trap and showing who they are when the microphone is not on. Take Thom Brennaman, an announcer for the MLB & NFL for Fox Sports since 1994. He has moved up the ranks of calling various games, including the BCS National Championship Game. But Thom showed who he was behind the mic when he called the Cincinnati Reds vs. Kansas City Royals the evening of August 19th. Unaware the mic was still on, Brennanman said a homophobic slur in regards to Kansas City ( which I will not even type on this page), and the amount of people who heard it, immediately hit the social media outlets. A few moments later, Brennaman, now realizing what he said, tried to gather himself to call the next play, while trying to give a shocked, deer in headlights apology. He said:
“I made a comment earlier tonight that I guess went out over the air that I am deeply ashamed of. If I hurt anyone out there, I can't tell you how much I say from the bottom of my heart, I am very, very sorry. I don't know if I'm going to be putting on this headset again”
Brennaman did not finish calling the game, and the fallout continued after handing over the play-by-play calling duties in the fifth inning to Jim Day. He was suspended indefinitely from the Cincinnati Reds organization and has been pulled from NFL Fox game calling calling duties this season. But just a few days before this 'hot mic mishap', came what I'll call 'Autocorrectgate' starring John Focke.
Focke is a radio announcer for the Charlotte Hornets (no, they were not in the post season), but as a person who is a sports fan like many of us who interact on social media, Focke was one of those who did on Twitter. It was during the Utah Jazz vs Denver Nuggets game One on August 17th, that a spelling 'mishap' caused an outcry, and a suspension by the organization for Focke.
Photo viv Twitter account of John Focke
Focke also tried to rectify his horrible mistake by saying from an interview with The Charlotte Observer, that he "was trying to get it done (the tweet) as fas as I could." And as you can see from the post above, Nuggets are not spelled with an 'I'.
My friend Brian Simmons (@therealsimmdogg), (please give him a follow if you got Twitter), said that he tried to "accidentally" type the N-Word, about 15 times and each time he got "Bigger", Muggers" (at least 4 times), "Nuggets" (oh look, IT'S THEIR TEAM NAME! GO FIGURE), and those came up over and over again.
My Heard Take:
Do I believe that Brennaman is a bigot? Probably not. Focke a racist? Probably not. Don't know either one of these men. However, they both have a platform that, in the sports world, should be respected. I believe that these gentlemen, as well as countless others who had the same platform, violated it and have used that language before. The apologies, whether sincere, seen like a "oops you caught me in my comfortableness of what I've said in the past conversations". I hope that these men, truly learn from the 'hot mic' moments, as well as those who I could go on and on about, but with these ones being recent, suspensions are not enough. If and that is a BIG if, they return to their respectable platforms, the fan, the listening fan, the fan that watches them, will see them in a different light. I am one of those fans. Forgive, I do. Forget, I won't.