Bob Costas is now being mocked over his interview with Simone Biles and Aly Raisman, two Team U.S. gold-medal gymnasts. Biles has won five gold medals and Raisman has won six. The interview is being called “awkward” and “embarrassing” by social media users.
Bob Costas asked both girls about their surprise meeting from NBC with Zac Efron, according to a report from Fox News. He also asked Biles and Raisman whether or not they would be binging on junk food now that the competitions are over. He inquired about their plans for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. During an awkward pause, he asked them an even more embarrassing question.
“Is there anything to talk about concerning the competition?”
During the interview Costas focused on Simone Biles, 19, and the tweets she exchanged with Zac Efron before he was flown to Rio de Janeiro by NBC’s Today Show. Biles tweeted several photos of the surprise meeting she and her team had with Efron. Social media didn’t approve of the interview at all, flooding Twitter with comments. Some of the comments stated the users felt like Costas was trying unsuccessfully to keep up with the gymnasts’ energy and enthusiasm during the interview. They mocked him for his inability to relate to teen girls, or athletes, or anyone else for that matter.
Costas’ conversation with Biles and Raisman immediately following their gold- and silver-medal-winning floor routines was “cringe-worthy,” says a report from NJ.com. Biles and Raisman handled the interview well, even struggling to help him fill dead air. Costas spoke mostly about the Zac Efron meeting as well as junk food binging and even a bad joke about Twitter that emphasized just how disconnected he is with young, female athletes. He’s 64, and Raisman and Biles are 22 and 19, and his line of questions clearly reflected that chasm.
The focus on the gymnasts’ personalities instead of on their status as athletes came under heavy criticism. Social media users aren’t often accused of being no fun, but they clearly expected more from Bob Costas than a “cringe-worthy” interview that didn’t take their athleticism or talent seriously at all. Simone Biles was commended by Twitter users for her class in refraining from responding to Bob Costas’ statement that she just now became famous. Her facial expression says it all, according to fans.
As the awkward interview drew to a close, Costas tried to have the girls toss the segment to a commercial break. Aly Raisman, 22, seemed to sense the awkwardness and asked him, “Was that your best interview ever or what?” The girls both giggled as the segment faded out to a commercial break.
Bob Costas is widely known for his serious sports journalism. He has won four National Sportcaster of the Year awards (from the National Sportcaster and Sportswriter Association) and three Emmy Awards for outstanding sports announcing. During the Rio Olympics, however, he just can’t seem to be taken as seriously as he would probably like. In fact, he’s still living down the jokes about his serious case of pinkeye from the 2014 Sochi Olympics, says a report from USA Today. Fortunately, in spite of being mocked, Costas maintained a great sense of humor about it, even though millions of viewers watched daily as his condition worsened. He likened it to a broken leg, saying even that would’ve been concealed by a desk, but that pinkeye was literally “written all over his face.”
New York Daily News reported on a comment made by Costas that angered Jamaican fans. He irritated music fans when he compared Jamaican Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt’s level of fame to that of the late reggae star, Bob Marley. Many of them mocked him in their tweets, while others made light of the situation overall.
Bob Costas said Usain Bolt was bigger than Bob Marley in Jamaica, sparking outrage among white journalists with nothing better to do.— Tony™ (@tsm560) August 15, 2016
Overall, however, Bob Costas has managed to take it all in stride, even walking back his statement comparing Bolt and Marley. What do you think of his interview with Simone Biles and Aly Raisman? Let us know in the comments section below.
[Photo by David J Phillip/AP Images]