Remarks by TV personality Steve Harvey during an interview on ESPN SportsCenter last night have so far flown below the media radar.
Harvey appeared remotely with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith before Game 3 of the Golden State Warriors-Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Finals matchup apparently as a part of a cross-promotion for the ABC game show Celebrity Family Feud, which he hosts. The Disney corporation owns ESPN and ABC.
When asked by Smith whether the defending champion Golden State Warriors could be derailed in the title round, Steve Harvey reportedly had this to say.
“You can’t stop them. You gotta outscore them. You can’t stop all them boys. They’ve got too many gorillas on the team. They coming to play, man. They got 800-pound gorillas on their team.”
In the same interview, Harvey apparently also predicted the Cavaliers would win the championship in seven games, which obviously is not going to happen since Cleveland is down 0-3 after last night’s loss.
As every NBA fan is aware, the Cavs should have or likely would have prevailed in Game 1 absent a missed George Hill free throw and a J.R. Reed gaffe about not knowing the score at the end of regulation. Game 3 was also winnable for the LeBron James-led Cavs.
According to Fox Sports Radio host and blogger Clay Travis, a longtime critic of ESPN management, the self-named Worldwide Leader in Sports deleted the above-referenced remarks from clips shared on social media but the sequence has been captured on YouTube (see the video embedded below).
Considering how Disney immediately fired the eccentric Roseanne Barr and canceled her sitcom for a racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett, as well as how ESPN summarily parted ways with tennis commentator Doug Adler after a similar social media outcry, Clay Travis claims that a corporate double standard is in play.
Travis previously wondered why Keith Olbermann, Jemele Hill, Jimmy Kimmel, and Joy Behar are still on the Disney payroll despite their offensive rhetoric.
Adler is suing ESPN for wrongful firing after he was let go during the Australian Open last year, the Associated Press reported in February 2017.
“Former tennis pro Doug Adler maintains he was describing [Venus] Williams’ aggressive style last month as ‘guerrilla’ tactics and not comparing her with a ‘gorilla.’ He apologized for his poor word choice but was let go from ESPN mid-tournament. Adler claims ’emotional distress’ in the filing in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging he was wrongly branded a racist and has lost other TV opportunities because of the controversy. The lawsuit calls for punitive financial damages, but doesn’t name an amount.”
Following his termination, Adler suffered a heart attack.
“While there’s clearly no malice intended in Harvey’s use of the term ‘gorilla,’ there wasn’t any malice intended in Doug Adler’s use of the term ‘guerrilla’ either, and he got fired,” Breitbart News observed.
A former attorney, Clay Travis addressed an alleged “glaring” double standard in an essay posted on his Outkick the Coverage blog.
“Now, to be clear, I don’t believe Steve Harvey should be fired for what he said, but isn’t it worth asking why Disney and ESPN gives the benefit of the doubt to Steve Harvey and immediately fires Doug Adler? And, hell, if I represented Roseanne would I definitely want to know why Harvey, a black comedian, can come on ESPN and compare black basketball players to gorillas and Roseanne, a white comedian, gets fired for a Tweet sent in her spare time doing the same thing? Sure, Disney can make the argument that context matters as it pertains to Roseanne and Harvey and that’s why it treated both employees differently. But is that really a very strong argument here?”
Read the entire essay and draw your own conclusions.
Clay Travis followed up his Steve Harvey-related blog post in a monologue on his often NSFW Outkick the Show Periscope broadcast this afternoon (see video below).
“I just want people to be held to the same standard…the media picks and chooses the stories they want to be big based on the people who are involved as opposed to the equities of these facts that are involved in each story…”