World

Outrage Over Olympics Announcers, Apologies Flow (Video)

| by Michael Allen
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Canadian sports announcer Byron MacDonald stirred outrage on Aug. 10 after he said a Chinese swimmer at the Rio Olympics "died like a pig" (video below).

MacDonald had just finished calling the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay final for CBC Sports when he stated, "That little 14-year-old from China dropped the ball, baby. Too excited, went out like stink, died like a pig. Thanks for that."

According to the National Post, MacDonald thought he was off the air when he made the comment, which was likely about 14-year-old Chinese swimmer Ai Yanhan, who was swimming in the second part of the relay and allowed the Canadian team to catch up and bump China out of third place for the bronze medal.

CBC’s Olympic Twitter account got pounded that same night by outraged viewers. In response, the network tweeted: "We apologize the comment on a swim performance made it to air. It was an unfortunate choice of words -- we’re sorry it happened."

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MacDonald issued an on-air apology on Aug. 11: "I would like to take a moment to apologize for a comment that I made last night after the women’s relay. I was referring to a swimmer’s performance, and not to them as a person. Needless to say, there was no disrespect intended and I’m very sorry."

In addition to the two apologies, CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson issued a third apology:

We sincerely regret that these statements were made, and that they were allowed to go to air. We moved quickly last night to apologize to our viewers on-air and to our followers on Social media.

To be clear, Byron’s comments were related to the swimmer’s performance, not to her as an individual. That said, they were inappropriate and an unfortunate choice of words and Byron is very sorry for what he said.

NBC Sports announcer Al Trautwig caused outrage on Aug. 7 when he referred to U.S. gymnast Simone Biles' adoptive parents as her grandparents, notes USA TODAY.

In 2001, Ron and Nellie Biles legally adopted the star gymnast and her sister, Adria, because their biological mother, Shanon Biles, struggled with substance abuse issues. Shanon is the daughter of Ron, making Ron and Nellie the girls' biological grandparents.

A Twitter user tweeted to Trautwig to call Ron and Nellie the parents, but Trautwig tweeted back: "They may be mom and dad but they are NOT her parents."

Trautwig deleted the tweet, but the Internet never forgets, and soon there were screenshots of his tweet being shared in a viral outrage that included the hashtag #FireTrautwig.

Trautwig offered an apology on Aug. 8 via an NBC Sports email to USA TODAY: "I regret that I wasn’t more clear in my wording on the air. I compounded the error on Twitter, which I quickly corrected. To set the record straight, Ron and Nellie are Simone’s parents."

Additionally, NBC stated: "We became aware of the situation last night and addressed it with Al quickly."

Simone told USA TODAY in December 2015: "When I was younger, I was adopted by my grandparents, which are now my parents. I call them Mom and Dad. Everything’s just been so normal."

Sources: National Post, USA TODAY / Photo credit: CBC via YouTube

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