NBA TV Analyst Rick Kamla Refers to Yi Jianlian as a 'Chinaman'
Making jokes, no matter how innocently intended, at the expense of other races, ethnicities, religions, etc. should be rule No. 1 on what not to say during a sports broadcast. The latest to utter an offensive on-air comment is NBA TV analyst Rick Kamla:
In his NBA.com video recap of last Friday's Magic-Nets game, NBA TV analyst Rick Kamla made the unfortunate mistake of referring to New Jersey forward Yi Jianlian as a "Chinaman." After FanHouse contacted Turner Sports about the remark, the video was pulled from NBA.com. It ran on NBA TV Friday and has been available on NBA.com since Friday night.
Turner Sports spokesman Jeff Pomeroy relayed to FanHouse an apology to anyone offended by the remark from Kamla and the network, which manages NBA TV and NBA.com. Pomeroy said Kamla was not aware of the connotations of the word, and meant nothing malicious or offensive by it.
As FanHouse points out in the above link, Steve Kerr made a similar mistake with Yao Ming a few years ago before getting an education in Asian-American history on the offensiveness of the word.
The Kamla video in question was on NBA.com for five days before being taken down. Brian at Empty the Bench wonders why racist jokes about Asians seems more acceptable:
We exclusively deal in sports here at Empty the Bench, so I’ll spare you my soapbox rant about the double standards in this country when it comes to racial awareness. But I will say this: inappropriate, tasteless jokes directed at people of Asian descent are, for whatever reason, not viewed or dealt with with equal gravity. For example, former Detroit News columnist endured waves of criticism for asking then Detroit Lions head coach Rod Marinelli if his daughter should have married a better defensive coordinator. (Joe Barry, the Lions’ former DC, is Marinelli’s son-in-law.) Eventually, Parker resigned. Unprofessional, to be sure, but nowhere near the level of Kamla’s assinine gaffe.Continued on the next page