From the October 11 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox NFL Sunday:
Fox Sports promoted a video in advance of the October 10 U.S.-Mexico men's soccer match that featured clips of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump's inaugural campaign speech, during which he used highly offensive language to describe Mexican immigrants. The disparaging comments were edited out of the video.
The promotion was a response to Mexican network TV Azteca's own advertisement for the match, which used Trump's vitriolic anti-immigrant rhetoric to hype the sports rivalry between the two countries. Fox Sports is owned by 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, which has repeatedly defended the candidate's extreme rhetoric characterizing immigrants as criminals and "rapists," his disparaging language toward children of immigrants, and his problematic immigration policy.
The use of an anti-immigration icon to promote the match also ignores the fact that a significant number of the U.S. national men's soccer team players are the children of immigrants (image via Fusion):
Fox Sports 1 host Katie Nolan harshly criticized sports reporters over their friendly treatment of Dallas Cowboys player Greg Hardy, who returned from a suspension for assaulting and threatening to kill his then-girlfriend last year. Several sports journalists appeared to joke with Hardy about "attractive" women and, as Nolan put it, "let him go on about girlfriends and guns."
Hardy was suspended for four games after he allegedly strangled his girlfriend, Nicole Holder, and "slammed" her against a futon and a couch "covered" in firearms. He was convicted by a judge of the assault last year, but that was overturned on appeal after Holder reportedly couldn't be located to testify in a jury trial.
During a press availability this week, a reporter asked Hardy if it would take very long for him to get back in shape, and he responded, "I hope not. I hope I come out guns blazing."
On her Fox Sports 1 show Garbage Time, Nolan responded by calling out the NFL for promoting Hardy's comments, and criticizing sports journalists who asked Hardy whether he found particular women "attractive" and failed to "act with just a shred of human decency":
NOLAN: That guy, facing the media for the first time, said he'd like to come out "guns blazing." That's baffling to me. And not just as a woman, but as a person who majored in public relations. How do you let that comment happen? Oh, I'm sorry, not just let it happen, publish it on the league's official website, endorsing it with your precious shield, which, oh, I noticed has a pink ribbon on it this month because you care about women. That's cool, thanks.
And if you're thinking, relax, the guy used the wrong phrasing, don't get your panties in a bunch, first of all, hey Cowboys fans, thanks for watching the show. But second of all, you're wrong.
See, when reporters asked Hardy questions about his treatment of women, he deflected and insisted on bringing the focus back to football.
But then, when they asked him about Tom Brady, a question about football, here's his response per Brandon George from the Dallas Morning News: "I love seeing Tom Brady. You seen his wife? I hope she comes to the game. I hope her sister comes to the game."
Greg Hardy had to pretend to respect women for twelve minutes. Just twelve minutes. And he couldn't even do that.
And what's worse, no one stopped him. They let him go on about girlfriends and guns, and posted video of it on DallasCowboys.com, because who fucking cares, right? Women won't see it. Women only care about football during those events they run, where they tell them what to cook on game day and give them free manicures.
And then, another reporter, a person I'm supposed to feel is a colleague of mine here in sports media, "asked if Hardy looks forward to playing teams such as the Jacksonville Jaguars, and whether he finds their quarterback Blake Bortles' significant other attractive."
Christ, guys. Enough. Enough. I see this shit in my timeline, next to a story about Stedman Bailey being fined by the league for pretending to take a nap on a football in the end zone, and it's just like, what are we fucking doing? What matters to you? Seriously? What matters to you? Because expecting a garbage human, who has been punished for being garbage, to come back from his suspension and not immediately resume being garbage, is asking the bare minimum.
And if me hoping that the league, and the Cowboys, and their PR people, and the media, could act with just a shred of human decency, is ruining football for you, then I'm disappointed I guess, in how much we're willing to accept in order to protect our precious Sundays.
This is not the first time Nolan has called out her fellow sports reporters and media outlets for their reporting on violence against women -- even her own network.
In September 2014, in response to the Ray Rice scandal (where the then-Baltimore Ravens running back was filmed hitting his girlfriend so violently she passed out in an elevator), Nolan posted a video online talking about women in the NFL, and in particular, the lack of women in sports media. She concluded by saying:
NOLAN: Women in sports television are allowed to read headlines, patrol sidelines and generally facilitate conversation for their male colleagues. Sometimes, they even let us monitor the Internet from a couch. And while the Stephen A. Smiths, Mike Francesas, Dan Patricks and Keith Olbermanns of the world get to weigh in on the issues of the day, we just smile and throw to commercial.
A lot of people like to justify women's supporting role in sports media by saying, well, they've never played the game so they just aren't qualified to speak about it. Because, God forbid, someone misspeak about the game. But topics like domestic violence and racism and corruption? Let's let Boomer handle those between downs.
It's time for the conversation to change, or at least those participating in the conversation. It's time for women to have a seat at the big boy table, and not where their presence is a gimmick or a concept -- just a person who happens to have breasts offering their opinion on the sports they love and the topics they know.
Because, the truth is, the NFL will never respect women and their opinions as long as the media it answers to doesn't. I'm ready when you are, Fox.
A former Fox Sports analyst-turned-hate group spokesman couldn't bring himself to disagree with a radio show caller who suggested that gay people who file discrimination complaints against business should be killed.
In September of 2013, Craig James was fired from his job as a football analyst on Fox Sports due to anti-gay remarks he made during a failed 2012 Senate run. His termination made him a celebrity among anti-gay groups, and he was eventually hired as an assistant to Tony Perkins, president of the extreme anti-LGBT hate group Family Research Council (FRC).
During the December 12 edition of FRC's "Washington Watch" radio program, James spoke with a caller who suggested that gay people who filed discrimination complaints against anti-gay business owners should be put to death. "I don't know," responded James, before adding that Christians "have to be bold and firm and much stronger" in their opposition to LGBT equality:
JAMES: Thank you Phillip. You know what, that part there, I don't know about the executing, but I do know that we have to be bold and firm and much stronger. God doesn't tell us and calls us that we have to be timid and to stand for our straight -- our beliefs. I'm doing a course right now in seminary and it's the history of the early church and it's fascinating, there's been lots and lots and lots of men and women who have died for their Christian beliefs since the beginning and now we are in a time in this country and in this world where we must be bold and stand for God and His truths.
James' ambivalence about whether gay people should be put to death is - shockingly - not totally unprecedented at FRC. The extreme hate group previously praised Uganda's notorious "kill-the-gays" law for upholding "moral conduct."
Craig James, the former Fox Sports football analyst who lost his job over homophobic comments he made as a U.S. Senate candidate, is headed to the Family Research Council (FRC), a notorious anti-gay hate group that frequently peddles anti-gay misinformation on Fox News.
In September, Fox Sports fired James after just one appearance as an analyst on the network, citing anti-gay remarks he made during his unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate from Texas in 2012. James called homosexuality "a choice" and stated that gay people "are going to have to answer to the Lord for their actions." Explaining the network's decision to part ways with James, a Fox Sports spokesman told The Dallas Morning News, "We just asked ourselves how Craig's statements would play in our human resources department. He couldn't say those things here."
James' firing made him a right-wing cause célèbre, with groups like the FRC condemning the network's move, depicting it as anti-Christian bigotry. Now, seven months after James' firing triggered a conservative outcry, the FRC is bringing him on board as an assistant to FRC President Tony Perkins, according to an April 8 press release:
Craig James, a Fox Sports football analyst who was fired after the network learned that he had expressed his views in support of natural marriage during his race for the U.S. Senate 18 months earlier, has joined Family Research Council (FRC) as an Assistant to the President. In this role, Craig will cultivate relationships with like-minded Americans across the country who share a common concern for the growing hostility toward free speech and religious liberty in the U.S. He will continue to share his own story of religious discrimination and educate Americans to the expanding threats to our First Freedom.
"We are very excited and pleased to announce that Craig James is joining Family Research Council's team," said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. "Losing one job because of his religious beliefs has made room for another: raising awareness about the threats to our most precious liberty - the freedom of religion. His leadership skills, his courage in the face of religious hostility, and his passion for faith, family and freedom will make him a great addition to the FRC team.
The FRC's anti-gay extremism has earned it a hate group designation from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). As the SPLC notes, the FRC has peddled the myths that gay people are disproportionately likely to be pedophiles, that a gay-inclusive military will endanger national security, that gay people aim to recruit children to their "lifestyle," and that the gay "agenda" "will destroy them and our nation," as Perkins declared in 2011.
In a bizarre turn of events, the kind of anti-gay extremism that got James fired from Fox Sports may end up getting him welcomed at Fox Sports' corporate sibling, Fox News. The network routinely hosts the FRC to comment on LGBT issues. FRC's Perkins just appeared on the April 7 edition of The Kelly File to blast non-discrimination protections for LGBT people.
Even as James begins his new job at the FRC, he continues to battle Fox Sports in court. In February, he filed a legal complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission alleging that he was the victim of anti-religious discrimination. It's unclear if his complaint against Fox Sports will affect FRC's relationship with Fox News, but his penchant for anti-gay rhetoric makes him a great fit at the notorious anti-gay hate group.
In a video posted on the Fox Sports website, reporter Bob Oschack did a segment purporting to welcome Colorado and Utah as they joined the Pac-12 Conference for the 2011 college football season. Oschack said, "Let's give the conference's two newest members a good old-fashioned all-American welcome by paying a visit to one of its oldest members," the University of Southern California.
Oschack proceeded to interview only Asian students who apparently didn't know much about USC football:
According to USC's statistics, Asian students made up 21.6 percent of the undergraduate student body last fall, and international students made up 11.2 percent:
UPDATE: Fox Sports head of media relations Lou D'Ermilio has apologized for the video, according to Deadspin:
We sincerely apologize to President [C. L. Max] Nikias and the entire USC community for the production and posting of the video. The context was clearly inappropriate and the video was removed as soon as we became aware of it. We will review our editorial process to determine where the breakdown occurred, and we will take steps to ensure something like this never happens again.
Recently, Fox & Friends' hosts and guests have made a series of sexist comments to and about women. Indeed, Fox & Friends has a long history of sexism which also permeates throughout Fox News and mirrors a culture at parent company News Corp that has led to numerous sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits.
Reached by phone at his Los Angeles office this morning, Fox Sports president Ed Goren responded to comments by Chris Myers portraying the victims of Hurricane Katrina as "standing on a rooftop trying to blame the government."
"There will be internal discussions even though it didn't occur on our network," Goren said.
Myers' comments took place on The Dan Patrick Show, which airs on Fox Sports Radio, part of Premiere Radio Networks, a subsidiary of Clear Channel. Here is how Fox Sports Radio explains the relationship between Fox and Premiere Radio Networks:
FOX and Premiere Radio Networks have teamed-up to bring the considerable resources and talent of FOX Sports to radio. More than just a spin-off, FOX Sports Radio is a complete extension of the FOX Sports brand delivering the winning characteristics that fans have come to expect -- great talent, insightful coverage and the undeniable...FOX success.
Myers hosts Fox Sports' NASCAR coverage and contributes to its coverage of the NFL, BCS, and MLB. He also hosts Showtime's Inside NASCAR show.
Goren added: "I don't think it's appropriate for any sportscaster to be discussing politics, religion, etc. And that point is made in every one of our seminars from NASCAR to football."
Here is what Myers said on Monday:
It's a great country here. We have disasters issues when people pull together and help themselves and I thought the people in Tennessee, unlike -- I'm not going to name names -- when a natural disaster hits people weren't standing on a rooftop trying to blame the government, okay. They helped each other out through this.
And Mike Helton, president of NASCAR, Tony Stewart, among some drivers went from the race over to the middle Tennessee area where still a lot of hardworking, tax-paying, legal American citizens have been affected by the floods and are trying to rebuild their lives and they are helping out. And I think that other people around the country, of course the music industry in and around Nashville helping, without making a big deal out of it and I think that's a good thing.
Calls to Fox Sports Radio president Don Martin were not returned.
Yesterday, Fox Sports reporter Chris Myers guest hosted The Dan Patrick Show and raised some eyebrows with comments about the flooding in Nashville. As noted by the sports blog The Big Lead, Myers said:
MYERS: It's a great country here. We have disasters issues when people pull together and help themselves and I thought the people in Tennessee, unlike -- I'm not going to name names -- when a natural disaster hits people weren't standing on a rooftop trying to blame the government, okay. They helped each other out through this.
And Mike Helton, president of NASCAR, Tony Stewart, among some drivers went from the race over to the middle Tennesee area where still a lot of hardworking, tax-paying, legal American citizens have been affected by the floods and are trying to rebuild their lives and they are helping out. And I think that other people around the country, of course the music industry in and around Nashville helping, without making a big deal out of it and I think that's a good thing.
Myers' comments about the people of New Orleans are disgusting.