ESPN college basketball analyst Bob Knight was his usual, cheery self during an appearance Tuesday morning on Mike & Mike. In the conversation, Knight used a poor choice of words when he said the NBA has “raped” college basketball due in large part to the “one and done” rule. Here’s the audio:
Of course, this isn’t the first time Knight has been involved in controversy for the use of the word rape. He told Connie Chung in 1998, “”I think that if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it.”
ESPN scrubbed Knight’s rape quote from its Mike & Mike archive online and left the rest of his interview in tact as though it never happened.
To continue a banner day at the self-proclaimed worldwide leader, Knight then went on SportsCenter and had this appearance that looks like a scene straight out of The Walking Dead.
Knight’s ESPN tenure has been defined by controversy and preferential treatment, but obviously that doesn’t seem to bother any key decision makers in Bristol. Let’s remember that ESPN voluntarily chose to re-sign Bob Knight to a new TV contract in November 2013.
ESPN will likely have to send out a statement apologizing for Knight or saying he misspoke at some point today. And then they will do it again the next time another self-inflicted controversy arises. And the cycle will continue. It’s exactly what ESPN signed up for, after all.
UPDATE: Here’s the statement from ESPN. It’s brief:
“We spoke with him. ESPN regrets the use of the word.”