Saturday's NWSL broadcast on CBS misidentified a fan as Jessica McDonald's son.

If a broadcast is going to show a fan on the screen and identify them, it’s important to get that identification right. That hasn’t always been the case, though, including a 2019 Monumental Sports Network WNBA broadcast showing “Markelle Fultz and his mom” (it wasn’t them) in the stands. The latest example of this comes from a CBS NWSL broadcast Saturday of the OL Reign-NC Courage match, which included a halftime feature on Courage forward Jessica McDonald and her nine-year-old son Jeremiah…but identified an unrelated fan in the stands as Jeremiah. That prompted this tweet from McDonald Sunday:

While this aired on CBS, it was a league-produced broadcast. NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird apologized publicly on Twitter Monday:

As per Alex Andrejev of The (Raleigh) News & Observer, Baird also sent a private personal apology note to McDonald Sunday.  So that does feel like a good response from the commissioner, and it is notable that the apologies here came from the commissioner, not some vice-president or someone on the broadcast crew. But this is still a bad mistake, especially with it coming on Juneteenth and coming as part of a feature intended to spotlight McDonald and her son (it included pre-recorded interviews with both of them). And it’s worth keeping in mind as another reason to be extremely careful with these kinds of on-broadcast identifications.

Correction: we initially got the team the Courage were playing wrong. It’s the OL Reign, not the Orlando Reign, and they’re based in Washington.

[The News & Observer]

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.