Joe Buck

As Fox’s Joe Buck is prepairing for another spring of calling MLB and golf, he’s suggesting announcers should stick to what they know and not venture into the hot-button topics of the day. In an interview with the Sporting News, Buck said fans watch sports to get away from news headlines and announcers shouldn’t anger viewers.

“I think people watch these games to get away from that stuff. I think you risk alienating, and upsetting, a lot of people when you start going down that rabbit hole,” he told SN.

And he added, “My job is to call the action. Not stand on a soapbox and go on and on and on about a point, and forget about the game.”

But as sports and politics have mixed and vice-versa, the sports media is trying to find a happy medium in trying to cover stories as they surface such as the Colin Kaepernick anthem kneel-down.

“With him kneeling, it was a story. I think our bosses wisely didn’t want to appear that we were just ignoring it. Because it was something that people were talking about. Certainly after the game and certainly during the game on social media. You have to address it. So we recorded him kneeling.”

Buck says as he and his Fox mates were preparing to discuss it, he knew he had just 15 seconds to get it right as he had a minefield to tiptoe through. Buck said he didn’t get it right, social media would be all over him, but at the same time, it had to be addressed.

But overall, he says it’s best to leave news and politics to the cable news networks and not bring it up during a game:

“Unless I’m completely wrong, and I know in this case I’m not, nobody’s tuning into the 49ers-Cowboys game to hear my political opinions, whether it’s about Trump, or Kaepernick or Flint, Michigan. That’s not why they’re watching a football game. It’s misplaced. I hear guys doing it at times. It seems self-serving. Like they want to inject themselves into the conversation. Wait for a talk show. Go on Bill Maher’s show. Bill O’Reilly. Whoever. I think people watch these games to get away from that stuff. I think you risk alienating and upsetting a lot of people when you start going down that rabbit hole.”

A lot of people will agree with Buck. But there are some personalities who have mixed sports and politics who will not.

When times were simpler, it was easy to separate sports and news, but in our current climate, the two arenas have often surfaced together. It’s led to fans to exclaim “stick to sports!” And for those who would rather see announcers and sports personalties “stick to sports,” you couldn’t have someone on their side more than Joe Buck.

[Sporting News]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.