Joe Buck beard Joe Buck

Joe Buck is not exactly a popular figure among sports fans for a variety of reasons.

Buck was recently interviewed by the New York Times Magazine, and the first question posted to him was about fans’ hatred of him.

Buck’s response wasn’t a bad one.

I really didn’t want to ask you about being hated, but — truly — when I told people I was going to interview you, the first thing out of everyone’s mouth was “I hate that guy.” You’ve taken this reputation with some humor, but has anything ever really gotten to you? I get more frustrated than I get hurt by it. It’s like, come on, I’m just the guy in the suit telling you your team lost.

That makes all the sense in the world – some of the vitriol lobbed at Buck is way over the top. He’s not a violent criminal or a despot – he’s a sports broadcaster. But dammit, this is the internet – saying someone is “just fine” doesn’t generate much of a response.

Buck also (sort of) weighed in on sticking to sports, in regards to Colin Kaepernick’s anthem protest, and how it’s difficult to actually say anything of substance during a sports game because of its rushed nature.

How far have you ever gotten away from talking about sports? It’s really hard to go off topic. When Colin Kaepernick was kneeling during the national anthem, my producer said I had to cover it. If you want to get yourself into trouble, start talking about racial inequality and police brutality during the course of a football game. You’re trying to wedge it in, by the way, coming back from a commercial break where you’ve got literally nine seconds before the next play. What I try to do is to think about that moment and then write something down, that I know that when we come back, I go to that little corner of the stuff that I prepare. It’s really hard to make a Van Jones-level point between second and third down.

We have a little bit of time: Would you like to share an opinion on Kaepernick? The point that I would make is it’s easy for somebody like me to be critical of Colin Kaepernick, but I haven’t suffered some of the same issues that Colin Kaepernick has. On some level, it’s like, how dare I weigh in on what Kaepernick is doing or feeling? Having some sort of an open dialogue about taking a knee, that’s what I was always hoping for, and I think he got there.

That’s a downright rational opinion from Buck. Imagine that!

All in all, the Q&A is an interesting, though short, read. Buck’s gotten too much of a bad rap over the years (including from this very site), and sometimes, perspective is needed. He’s a broadcaster, not the antichrist. Maybe turn the hyperbole down a notch.

[New York Times Magazine]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.

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