MLB General

Fox fires Steve Lyons for no good reason

Tom Brenneman (unwittingly) makes fun of a blind guy wearing a device that helps him see the game, issues an apology the next day, and all is well. Steve Lyons says something about a wallet after saying something about espanol and gets fired. Nevermind that the two statements were completely unrelated.

After Lou Pinella said something about Marco Scutero’s production being akin to finding a wallet on Friday and expecting it to happen again the next Friday, he added that the A’s were “frio” and needed to get “en fuego”. Steve Lyons said that Pinella was “hablaing espanol” and he still couldn’t find his wallet. From this, Fox made the connection that Lyons was claiming Lou (and other hispanics) steal wallets. If anything, the execs over at Fox are the ones who are racists. Most people watching it took it to be a friendly jab at Lou Pinella, his broadcast partner, not a racial remark. As far as we know, no hispanic leaders complained about the remarks.

For his part, Lyons apologized but said that the comment was not racially motivated and that Fox jumped to conclusions.

My joke was about a wallet. It had nothing to do with race. We were all laughing at the time. I’m being painted as a victimizer of Lou. At dinner later (with Fox announcers and production staffers), we all thought it was one of our better exchanges… I’m happy to apologize to anybody who took it that way. But it seems like a real stretch to lose your job over. It’s hard to understand.

So the moral of the story is this: you can make fun of the handicapped all you want as long as you apologize but don’t even think about linking two statements together if one of them has anything to do with race. Someone at Fox needs to take Logic 101. For example, here are two statements: 1) Tim McCarver sucks as an announcer. 2) Tim McCarver is white. The execs at Fox would conclude that white people suck at announcing. Meanwhile, most people would just conclude that Tim McCarver sucks — which is pretty much just a universal truth by now.

[Orlando Sentinel]: Fox Fires Lyons for Insensitive Comment
[USA Today]: Lyons defends honor after dismissal by Fox
[YouTube]: partial video of Steve Lyons comments


Croatian Soccer fans are racist idiots

It seems every story we do on soccer is tied to racism. The governing body of European soccer, UEFA, has warned Croatian soccer officials that they are in danger of getting tossed out of the 2008 European Championships if there are any more racist incidents from their fans because they have a history of racist behavior. In 2004 the Croatian Federation was fined because black French players were racially abused and white supremecist banners were displayed.

UEFA’s William Gaillard warned: “We won’t tolerate racism. We have had many problems with this in Eastern Europe before and Croatia have been among the worst offenders.

But we are determined this will not happen again and will send out a strong message to stop any incidents during the game against England.

FIFA have recently introduced new rules which can, in extreme cases, lead to a team being docked points or even being excluded from the competition.

Because of the problems we have encountered with Croatian teams in the past, they have been warned future sanctions will be much heavier than any which have been imposed for previous incidents.

Everyone (except the idiot fans) is absolutely livid about the human swastika that 200 Croatian fans formed at a game in Italy. Shouldn’t security have broken this up? Only in soccer is racism so blatant and rampant. Say what you want about ugly Americans but we keep comments about players to their mothers, wives, and pill popping — not the color of their skin.

You know, it’s sad when a brilliant idea like creating a message with people at a stadium is wasted on something like this. Imagine how great it would have been if fans spelled out FU TO at the Eagles-Cowboys game last Sunday.

[IHT]: Roundup: Croatia warned over racist chants

[The Sun UK]: Nazty

All Other Sports

TV commentator fired after calling a player a terrorist

Dean Jones, a commentator for Sri Lankan TV was fired after he called a South African batsman named Hashim Aslam a terrorist.

After bearded Amla, 23, caught Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara in the Second Test in Colombo, Jones was heard by millions of shocked viewers to exclaim `the terrorist has got another wicket’.

Ummmm… we’re not exactly sure what the first part of that sentence means but we’re pretty sure the second part is a no-no. Take Howard Cosell’s “Look at that little monkey go!” and multiply it by 10000x and that’s how offensive that was.

[Sun UK]: ‘Terrorist gets a wicket


16-year-old girl banned from World Cup matches

That’s some quality Photoshop work

Yesterday, we told you about the 12-year-old Boston fan who called Terry Francona a dumbass. Well, in England, they raise the bar with their soccer hooligans. A 16-year-old girl was banned from attending any soccer matches and must report to the local police station once a week.

The ban stemmed from an incident in January where 18 other people were arrested when violence broke out after the hooligans began the obligatory soccer racist chanting.

[Life Style Extra]: 16-year old female footy fan in court


Germany welcomes World Cup fans… except some of the darker ones

“Gesicht zeigen”, the German anti-tourism anti-racism organization is warning black soccer fans to stay away from parts of the eastern German state of Brandenburg. The head of the organizational, Uwe-Karsten Heye, warned of potential racially motivated attacks.

There are small and medium-sized towns in Brandenburg and other places where I would recommend that nobody with a different skin color go.

They would possibly not leave there alive.

The Brandenburg tourism page boasts of the idyllic countryside, lakes, castles, and gardens, but no mention of not leaving there alive if you’re of a different skin tone. Oh, those clever marketing people!

[Reuters]: Black soccer fans told to avoid parts of Germany


Anti-Racism rules in effect for World Cup

FIFA: Racism is bad

Only in soccer (and the Ku Klux Klan softball league) do you have to remind players and fans that racism is bad. From fans making monkey noises and throwing bananas to yelling monkey at other players, soccer has the market cornered on blatant racism in professional sports. (Well, maybe Canadian hockey has a small market share.) It’s gotten so bad that FIFA has created new anti-racism rules. FIFA president Sepp Blatter said that the rules are in effect next season and will also apply to the World Cup.

At the first sign (of racism) there will be a deduction of three points, then we are finished with the problems of discrimination.

We think he meant discrimination in soccer. If only it were that easy to deduct points in real life. Fans and officials can also be given fines for “any act or expression of a discriminatory and/or contemptuous nature.”

Interestingly enough, Blatter said it was not FIFA’s place to tackle the problems of prostitution — there are expected to be 60,000 prostitutes imported into Germany for the Finals. Minorities: protect; Women: who cares. Got it, FIFA.

We in FIFA, we are not responsible for the morality and the ethics of the whole population of the world. We should go against gambling. We should go against drugs. We should go against religion. We should go against weapons, and so on. This is not our duty, our duty is football.

[Sign On San Diego]: Blatter says anti-racism rules will apply at World Cup

[IPS news]: World Cup – a Magnet for Forced Prostitution?