Cleveland Indians fans are not thrilled with TBS and their recent questionable choices on broadcasts and social media.
It started on Monday, when TBS analyst Pedro Martinez decided it was a good idea to stereotype Native Americans after Cleveland’s sweep of the Red Sox, by “paying tribute” with a ‘war whoop’ gesture. Martinez apologized almost immediately on Twitter.
oh no. no, no. https://t.co/L02sx17GFF pic.twitter.com/yh7zY7Dg3b
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) October 11, 2016
If that wasn’t bad enough, TBS used a photoshopped graphic of its analyst near what was supposed to be the Cuyahoga River aka the Burning River to symbolize the sweep. The problem? As Cleveland 19 pointed out, the photoshopped picture wasn’t Cleveland. It was Moscow. The explosion? It was from the 2015 Moscow pipeline burst which injured three people, one of which was a child. While likely unintentional, the picture was inappropriate and offensive considering its origins.
Cleveland 19 obtained an apology from Turner Sports for using the image.
“Cleveland is a great city and we regret the use of the image. We look forward to putting the focus back on an exciting ALCS.” a Turner Sports spokesperson said in a statement to Cleveland 19.
Cleveland 19 made sure TBS would not be making the same mistake going forward. In a post on their website, Cleveland 19 urged Clevelanders to contact TBS and let them know the picture was unacceptable. The also asked readers to post pictures of the real Cuyahoga River with the hashtag #CLEvsTBS, #RallyTogether and to tag @cleveland19news. People flooded TBS’ mentions with responses.
#CLEvsTBS – how's this for beauty! pic.twitter.com/lV73JsfzGo
— Barb Betz (@seebarb4coffee) October 11, 2016
Wow TBS about 40 years out of touch…hire someone who is up to date with the present #CLEvsTBS pic.twitter.com/Daw3HLPyJ6
— Mike Stanic (@mikestanic) October 11, 2016
.@garysheffield @JimmyRollins11 @CaseyStern @TBSNetwork, this city will welcome you with nothing but love Friday! @cleveland19news #CLEvsTBS pic.twitter.com/1wJq26cjQk
— Michele Spring (@michelespringtv) October 11, 2016
All the #clevstbs tweets are amazing!! @TBSNetwork…. super awkward for you! pic.twitter.com/0IVlolVAsO
— Sarah (@STausch0206) October 11, 2016
Hey @TBSNetwork, maybe you should've used my picture that's actually of the Cuyahoga River! #CLEvsTBS pic.twitter.com/cmXq5q0doO
— Ashley (@AshleyTartell) October 11, 2016
It’s not unreasonable the fine people of Cleveland don’t want to be the punchline to TBS’ offensive jokes. Martinez’s comments were wrong. TBS’ graphic was just dumb, uncreative and poorly designed. Treat Cleveland better TBS – they’ve got one hell of a baseball team, even if broadcasters refuse to say their name.
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