BY LORI RAUDIO
On Thursday’s broadcast of the Sweet Sixteen March Madness games, things quickly turned awkward for studio broadcasters when Doug Gottlieb made an inappropriate comment. While being introduced, Gottlieb said, “I don’t know why you guys asked me, I’m just here to bring diversity to the set here. Give the kind of white man’s perspective on things from the point guard position.”
Gottlieb is the only while male on the program, accompanied by Greg Gumbel, Charles Barkley, Greg Anthony, and Kenny Smith, who are all African-American. There was visible tension in the room, and no one knew what to say. They tried to laugh it off, but it was still an uncomfortable situation for the broadcasters and viewers alike.
CBS released a statement from Gottlieb, who apologized for the comment. When he was asked about it on Twitter, however, he replied, “It’s called a joke.” As a professional and on-air personality, Gottlieb should have had the self-control to refrain from responding to comments on social media. He could have sent a general message saying he was sorry and left it at that.
It is baffling to me why Gottlieb felt the need to bring up race. If he was trying to be funny, it definitely failed and was in bad taste. I also found it unnerving that he pointed out he was only providing insight on the point guard position. He is perpetuating a stereotype only white men play point guard, a position requiring power and knowledge. This is called stacking and is a common issue with race in sport.
It is unknown if Gottlieb will face any punishment for his words. He did issue an apology, but yet defended himself on Twitter. He is an on-air personality and should be able to accept the responsibilities that come with it. There have now been countless incidents of inappropriate remarks by media personnel and with today’s technology, it’s going to make headlines. These broadcasters should know what not to say and be held accountable for their words.