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September 30, 2014

ESPN's Bob Griese suspended for faux pas

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 28th 2009 12:38PM
Bob_Griese_ESPNDuring the broadcast of the Minnesota vs. Ohio State college football game last weekend, ESPN analyst Bob Griese put his foot in his mouth. While promoting an upcoming NASCAR event, a graphic was shown listing the drivers.

When Griese's fellow broadcast Chris Spielman questioned why NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya wasn't on the list, Griese replied that he was "out having a taco."

Oops! ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz has announced that Bob Griese has been suspended for a week. Griese has apologized for the ill-attempt at humor. Krulewitz revealed that ESPN had spoken to Griese and "he understands the comment was inappropriate."

It was inappropriate, but you know what, sports guys do it a lot. I remember on Monday Night Football in 1983 when Howard Cosell referred to Washington Redskins' Alvin Garrett as a little monkey. Garrett was an African-American player and what Cosell meant as a compliment, "look at that little money run," was inappropriate. That's but one example.

I was listening to a sports radio deejay yesterday who claimed that Griese should have known better. That he should have used a different line because Montoya is Colombian, not Mexican, and the taco bit was wrong.

Yes, you see, the deejay -- Orlando Alzugaray, who's from Cuba and work on WQAM-560 in Miami -- wasn't offended by the remark, just that he had the wrong food product. He thought if Griese had said "he was out having an arepa" there wouldn't be a problem.

Griese is an experienced broadcaster and a smart guy. He's also a Hall of Fame NFL player, who was on two Super Bowl champion teams including the 17-0 Miami Dolphins, the only perfect team. Alas, Griese is not the perfect ESPN broadcaster. He screwed up by trying to be funny.

For his part, Montoya has not commented on the joke, but he did say he's never heard of Griese. Snap!

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Vic

It's a big to do about nothing more than stero-typing...we all sterotype--we all should not....it was not a racist comment.....stupid maybe in this over sensitive world we now live in....and I am sure that there are no PC statements being made on the playing field.....I quit listening to sports radio because of all the comments regarding women, hot bodies and statements that would be censored on this page---no one is ever suspended for their comments regarding women...so a taco comment is more important?

October 31 2009 at 6:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patricia

George:
I am very proud of my heritage, having said that i am indeed quite offended by this man's remarks. he generalized his believe that just because Juan Pablo's skin is brown. in his mind assumed that he is Mexican. he thought outloud! and that is where he made the mistake of showing who he really is.

October 28 2009 at 11:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patricia

C:
Are you kidding me?? no reason or knowledge?? where are you from? Mars?? this man made a racist remark. and it will be something that will haunt him for the rest of his life.

October 28 2009 at 11:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patricia

JR....

You couldn't have said it better. thank you!

October 28 2009 at 10:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GL

Griese is not a valuable asset to ESPN. He's an average analyst, at best, and he's boring as hell to listen to.

October 28 2009 at 9:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JR

The only reason people are saying that this isn't a big deal is because the person who he was making "a little joke" about is of Hispanic heritage or presumed to be Mexican by Griese or others.

If it had been said that an African player was out eating watermelon or fried chicken the reaction would be a lot different and people would be more offended by it. It's the same type of comment, only difference is the group of people being targeted. And to say that being offended makes people them ashamed of their culture or what they eat is completely missing the point.

October 28 2009 at 7:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Will

Get over it ...
What do you think these guys on the field are saying to the other team ... It's crude and rude. College and Pro.

Griese is a true gentleman, I've heard him speak, and he is a valuable asset to ESPN.

Some of the other ESPN talking heads could take lessons from Bob, in analysis and understanding the job of announcing. I hope ESPN gets the message that he's the best of the stable they're fielding.

October 28 2009 at 7:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

Montoya isn't even Mexican.

Are tacos popular in Colombia?

October 28 2009 at 7:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jim's comment
Jim

Sorry. I skipped the jump and went right to the comments.

October 28 2009 at 7:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
emtae

The pussification of America (and the world) continues.

Thanks a lot, liberals.

October 28 2009 at 4:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pingles

While not particularly venomous it WAS a racist comment.

He heard a hispanic name and said he was getting a taco. For all he knows this guy is from Sweden but with a hispanic last name but he went for the cheap joke.

I think the punishment fit the crime. It was just a silly, not particularly mean but racist comment and a slap on the wrist was appropriate.

October 28 2009 at 4:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Pingles's comment
Jim

Hispanic is an ethnicity, not a race. Therefore it was an ethnic remark. But I guess that's not as charged a word as being able to refer to him as a racist. Can we all lighten up a little.

October 28 2009 at 8:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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