ESPN college football commentator Bob Griese was suspended for one week for a racially insensitive comment he made during a broadcast. It raises the question -- is the punishment fair, or have the political correctness police gone wild?
Griese was working the Minnesota-Ohio State game last Saturday when a NASCAR promo came up, with a graphic listing points by the top five drivers. When broadcasting partner Chris Spielman noticed driver Juan Pablo Montoya was missing from the list, Spielman asked where he was. Griese joked he was "out having a taco." Griese apologized on-air after the game. Watch it here:
In a second apology at halftime of another ESPN game later that night, the former Miami Dolphins Hall of Fame quarterback said in a statement:
“Earlier today on our game I made an offensive comment regarding Juan Pablo Montoya as part of a NASCAR promo. It was regrettable and I should not have said it. I really enjoy NASCAR and I follow it closely and would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Juan, NASCAR and everyone else who heard my comment.”
For his part, Montoya said he's never even heard of Griese, and that he really doesn't care what he said.
In suspending Griese, ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said, "We've spoken to him and he understands why his comment was inappropriate."
Yes, the comment was certainly inappropriate, and Griese did apologize. But it's apparent from listening to the clip that Griese was joking, and had no malicious intent. Does a joke-gone-bad really rise to the level of suspension? Are we all being just a little too sensitive? Or is it wrong to make any type of racial remark that could be perceived as offensive?