I’ve been Tweeting about the ESPN book, but this is so astounding I felt I had to quote it in full. I’m not quite done with the book, but it has to be the single dumbest thing in it, one of the dumbest things I have ever read. I give you Keith Clinkscales, Senior VP for “Content Development”, whatever the hell that is, quoted verbatim with my annotations:
I do not believe Stuart Scott was the first African American on ESPN, but he certainly was influential because on SportsCenter, early on, he used hip-hop vernacular; he said things on the air that I knew when I heard them that the white producers who had approved it didn’t know what he was talking about. So it was like our own little codified thing. It was almost like, “If he’s cool enough to say that on the air, and no one’s stopping him, then this network is cool enough to watch.”
I don’t want to commit hyperbole here, but Stuart’s delivery on SportsCenter — his willingness to stick with it despite getting complaints, and the producers letting him stick with it — is one of the great cultural moments that African American culture has ever had. It made us relevant in sports.
Seriously? This is a VP and he’s apparently only vaguely aware of John Saunders, Robin Roberts, and Mike Tirico, not to mention the numerous commentators.
Not Clinkscales’ fault, but that’s all one sentence.
No African-Americans watched ESPN before Stuart Scott authorized it, apparently.
The words “minstrel show” come to mind; consult Jason Whitlock for more.
Seriously, he said that.
Seriously, STUART SCOTT made African-Americans relevant in sports. Step aside, Joe Louis! Get out of here, Jackie Robinson! Eat it, Jesse Owens! You’ve been supplanted, Muhammad Ali, STUART SCOTT is in the house!