Skip Bayless points on Undisputed.

Some of the discussion around racial discrimination is about differing treatment based on skin color or tone, or colorism. That’s an issue that’s been linked to wage inequality, exclusion from groups, and much more. Public discussion of someone’s particular skin tone carries a lot of potential pitfalls, especially considering how dividing people by skin tones has been done by colonial administrations and slaveowners in the past. And Fox Sports’ Skip Bayless dove right into that on Undisputed Friday, mocking Golden State Warriors’ guard and newly-crowned NBA Finals MVP Steph Curry as “little light-skinned Steph” (that remark comes at 5:36 below, as part of a larger rant starting at 5:06 against co-host Shannon Sharpe‘s claim that Curry should be considered amongst the NBA’s top 10 players of all time):

“I don’t care what Twitter says, I don’t care what anyone says, I just know what I did and did not see from little light-skinned Steph. There have been too many times when he got so light-skinned in the Finals I couldn’t see him any more, because he turned into a ghost. He just went ‘Poof!’ right before your very eyes.”

This prompted a lot of Twitter criticism. Here’s some of that:

We obviously don’t know Bayless’ intentions with these particular comments, or how aware he was of the history of and present problems with colorism when he made these remarks. But even with complete ignorance there, going in on an athlete’s physical appearance is problematic in its own right. And diving into colorism waters is particularly bad. There’s lots for Bayless to argue about with what Curry did on the court; his skin tone shouldn’t come into it.

[Audacy; image from Undisputed on YouTube]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.