We all say stupid s—. At least most of us do. I do, that’s for sure. Usually, the stupid s— we say is said with no ill-will, but it’s stupid and offensive nonetheless. Most of the time, when these stupid moments happen, the consequences are limited. That’s because most of us aren’t being recorded by live microphones.

Unfortunately for San Diego Chargers radio voice¬†Hank Bauer, he wasn’t so lucky on Sunday when he made a huge error in judgement by slipping an anti-Semitic joke into a fourth-quarter conversation with his Jewish broadcast partner, Josh Lewin.

Now, Bauer’s been doing this 16 years. I can understand how you might become too comfortable and commit a brain fart like that after so many hours on air. But this isn’t the same as letting a curse word slip out. The dude made an entire joke, which lasted eight full seconds. Trust me, when you’re on live television or radio, that’s an eternity.

It’s disturbing that Bauer had that much time to reconsider and still stuck with his joke. In what world is that a cool thing to say? And how comfortable must Bauer be with his own bigotry in his private life for such an inappropriate joke to squeak out in his public life?

This is why decades-long broadcasting careers can be poured down the drain in a matter of seconds.

We don’t know yet if this will turn into something Bauer won’t be able to recover from, but at least NBC San Diego reports that he’s been suspended for the team’s final preseason game Thursday night.

Bauer also tweeted an apology:

Of course it wasn’t his intention to offend anyone, but this is about his ignorance rather than potential malice. Some won’t be able to look at him the same. So while Bauer will be able to return to the booth for the regular-season opener, there’s a chance he’ll never totally get past this flub.

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at theScore.com, a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at CBSSports.com, Deadspin, FoxSports.com, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Comeback Media, but his day gig has him covering the NFL nationally for Bleacher Report.

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