Over the weekend, SportsCenter audiences were taken aback by what sounded like an incredibly insensitive and misogynistic description of women’s college basketball by host Randy Scott. But according to him, it was merely a misunderstood transition involving two things around that specific clip.
Without any context, it’s clear why the clip went viral and people assumed the worst. Scott is heard describing the action from a Maryland–Michigan State women’s basketball game, which he punctuates by saying “let’s get back to the actual basketball in Ann Arbor” as the highlights switch over to the Michigan-Michigan State men’s basketball game.
No way he just said that on ESPN pic.twitter.com/EtTH05Q5Ud
— ?? (@Krabs_Bets) February 19, 2023
As-is, it certainly sounds like Scott is inferring that women’s basketball does not qualify as “actual basketball.”
However, there is some crucial context missing from the viral clip and Scott pointed that out after he started hearing from angry viewers and upset fans.
“We did a VO of the moment of silence in Ann Arbor. Then the WBB highlight. Then said “let’s get back to the actual basketball in Ann Arbor.” Then the MBB highlight. Nice try, though,” wrote a peeved Scott to someone who has shared the initial clip but has since deleted the tweet.
We did a VO of the moment of silence in Ann Arbor.
Then the WBB highlight.
Then said “let’s get back to the actual basketball in Ann Arbor.”
Then the MBB highlight.
Nice try, though? https://t.co/9pqPTS3H2R
— Randy Scott (@RandyScottESPN) February 19, 2023
On watching the full clip, complete with what Scott discussed before the women’s basketball highlights, you can see the full context of what he was saying and how his “actual basketball” comment was not about the women’s game but about the horrific events at Michigan State last week and how the Michigan and Michigan State men’s basketball programs supported one another before their game.
Scott’s stutter-step between “let’s get back to the actual basketball” and “in Ann Arbor” contributed to the misunderstanding, but that’s only because of the lack of full context presented in the initial clip that made the rounds. It’s an important reminder for all of us to double-check in these kinds of situations because context is one of the first things to go when it comes to virality.