A Mississippi sports writer says he was fired from his position for calling Lafayette, Louisiana, the “worst place in America” and stating that "every stereotype about Louisiana people" is true.
Matthew Stevens, 29, says he was fired from the Commercial Dispatch for telling an Internet radio show that visiting Lafayette was "the worst experience I've ever had as a beat writer."
Lafayette’s Ragin’ Cajuns hosted an NCAA regional last week, in which Mississippi State also played.
Stevens told the Bulldog Sports Radio Show last Wednesday that he drove around Lafayette for 90 minutes one day and was not able to find a single place suitable for raising a family.
He also criticized area residents for being Cajun.
“I'm not going to go as far as Brian by saying that they're not people, but I don't know what they are," Stevens said of Cajuns, "because I can't understand them when they talk."
He said he was pulled over by a Lafayette police officer and he could not understand most of what he said.
"He had the guts to ask me if I was drinking," he said, "and I wanted to ask the same question."
"It's not America," said co-host Brian Hadad.
"It's not," said Stevens. "You know what, it's not."
"I gave myself a goal," he continued. "Said I'm going to go find a neighborhood in Lafayette where I would buy a house, raise a family ... I didn't come up with one neighborhood that I would find decent enough that I would stay and live.
"It's the worst place in America," he stated. "It's not in America. I'm not going so far as to say they're not people, but I don't know what they are because they don't speak English -- and it's not French -- but I don't know what it is."
"They're the missing link -- if you believe in evolution -- between apes and humans, there's Cajuns,” said Hadad.
"Food," Stevens said. "That's it. That's all they know how to do."
"If Obama wants to cut Louisiana from the Union tomorrow, we're better off," he said. "We are better off as people."
"Unfortunately, I was terminated from The Commercial Dispatch. I accept this as a consequence for my comments & I’ll always be remorseful," Stevens tweeted on Monday.
A number of reporters were critical of the Lafayette facility, which has a smaller capacity than most. It fits a little over 3,000 spectators, compared to Mississippi State's Dudy Noble Field’s 10,000 plus capacity.
"For a college and even some of the high school places I covered, it was a little worse than that," Michael Bonner, a writer with The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, told The Daily Advertiser Thursday.
A temporary press area had to be set up which drew the ire of many reporters.
"The folding table came down to my shins. My computer was at my shins," said Logan Lowery, of the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. "Four days of that is a little more than my back could take."