Saturday, February 18, 2006

Suck it, Gumbel

Bryant Gumbel on this week's HBO's Real Sports:
"Laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention ... so if only to hasten the arrival of the day they’re done and we can move on to March Madness, for God’s sake, let the Games begin."

There are a number of accurate retorts, none of which we here at Sporlitics were the first to write. Pick your poison:
  • Gumbel, in his years on the Today show, more than likely covered the Winter Olympics on site for NBC. He has never before made such comments.
  • Most of the American winter olympians are from, how do we say, the less diverse of the USA's 50 states--Alaska or Wisconsin, for example. There just aren't many black hockey players, or snowboarders, or curlers. Besides, when March Madness rolls around, will Gumbel bemoan the lack of white athletes?
  • GOP Convention? Gumbel's political leaning has absolutely nothing to do with his sports show. Leave it on the sidelines, Bryant.
  • Real Sports is a great show, but they are conspicuously absent in the criticism of boxing. By far the most corrupt sport--and HBO Sports' biggest cash cow--somehow goes untouched by the Emmy-winning Real Sports.

But by far the best and most timely response to Gumbel's misguided rant was today's speed-skating King, Shani Davis. Davis won the 1,000-meter speed-skating title and became the first black athlete to win Winter Olympics gold. It was a great moment for anyone watching. A shame, however, that Gumbel said he was not.


At 1/24/2007 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For more info on Black hockey players (over a dozen are currently active in the NHL) and lots of links, video & audio interviews, see the February archives of the A-Train Hockey Vlog. Another great reference is Black Ice by George and Darril Fosty.

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