Most of us aren’t surprised anymore when someone’s ignorant prejudices are exposed with a slip of the lip. We’re not even surprised when it happens during a nationally televised broadcast. Announcers are not immune from being dumb, ignorant and racist.
EX-Fox baseball announcer Steve Lyons
The latest to join that illustrious fraternity is Fox sports announcer Steve Lyons, whose tongue fart during Friday’s game 3 telecast of the ALCS between Oakland and Detroit got him canned after the game.
In the second inning, Lyons’s broadcast partner, Lou Piniella, who’s bilingual, noted the success of light-hitting A’s infielder Marco Scutaro in the first round of the playoffs, He said the player’s surprise production and the need for him continue hitting well during the series was like ” finding a wallet on a Friday night and looking for one on Sunday and Monday, too.”
Later, Piniella said the A’s needed slugger Frank Thomas and teammate Eric Chavez to get “en fuego” because his hitting was “frio.” The third man in the booth, Thom Brennaman (who’s made his own share of miscues during the series) , praised Piniella for being bilingual. Then Lyons piped in…
“Lou’s habla’ing some Español there, and I’m still looking for my wallet. I don’t understand him and I don’t want to sit close to him now.” The three men laughed.
As insipid as Lyons’ comments were – and certainly worthy of keeping him off national television – hear this: I simply cannot believe this was the first time Lyons uttered this kind of racist dribble. Nor could be the first time he said it in front of his colleagues at Fox. Most likely, they were shared at a bar or in some sort of environment where everybody there thought it was funny. And it was allowed to pass because no one thought he’d be estúpido enough to utter his biases for all the world to hear on live television.
Earlier this month, Lyons and Brennaman mocked a Mets fan sitting near the field who was using a magnifying device to see the game. They did not know that Steve Teitlebaum, 64, was blind, except for some peripheral vision and that the device helped him see the game. Both men later apologized. Nonetheless, their sophomoric insensitivity served as a mere prelude to Lyons’ idiocy on Friday.
Fellas, leave comedy to comedians.
Fox confirmed today that Lyons was fired. He was replaced in the booth by Los Angeles announcer Jose Mota.
Now, that’s funny.