I don’t want to sound too harsh here, but ESPN’s First Take routinely embarrasses itself. From awkward interview segments (see Shaka Smart having to defend his VCU squad yesterday) to pointless skits that are supposed to be funny (has Jay Crawford dropped that pen in the hole yet?) to mind-numbing debate on 1st & 10 (my favorite question is Did Team X win or Team Y lose… because I’m pretty sure both happened!), First Take usually provides something cringe worthy. I give credit to the show for trying out a unique format and doing different things, but as someone who has watched a fair share of episodes, First Take is more about what outlandish thing Skip Bayless will say next than real, meaningful sports talk.
Our latest example came today in a 1st & 10 discussion about Chad Ochocinco playing as a reserve for Sporting Kansas City in MLS. Take a look at the video from Sportsgrid below and see for yourself what Skip Bayless and today’s debate partner Rob Parker had to say about Ocho…
Parker – “He’s the only black guy in this country who’s not from foreign descent or Caribbean descent who wants to play soccer.”
Parker – “Do you know of any black guys in this country who would rate soccer like that?”
Bayless – “This is one weird black guy.”
Seriously? Rob Parker is no stranger to saying stupid things, getting axed from the Detroit News for an awful question to Lions coach Rod Marinelli. In 2011, are we really still subject to neanderthals that say such horribly stereotypical things like “black guys don’t like soccer.” Perhaps Rob Parker has never taken the time to look at Charlie Davies, Jozy Alitdore, Eddie Johnson, DaMarcus Beasley, or countless other African Americans that play soccer. Skip’s jaw-dropping remark and the strange discussion that takes place afterwards only further cement this “debate” into First Take lore. In the context of the global sport of soccer, where racism against players of African descent rages in Europe and elsewhere around the world, this discussion is even more appalling. But, I suppose I can’t expect that thought to cross the minds of Skip and Rob. What ignorance.
Skip Bayless: Chad Ochocinco “Is One Weird Black Guy” – SportsGrid