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ESPN Announcer To Black NASCAR Crew Member: "Tap Dance For Us"

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Deeper_Background, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. Deeper_Background

    Deeper_Background Active Member

    This weekend's NASCAR race at Pocono was delayed at the start by rain and the ESPN team was forced to fill the first 30 minutes of the broadcast with banter and discussion. At approximately 1:38 PM EST, they start an interview with the "over-the-wall reporter" for the day Kenyatta Houston — a pit crew member for Kevin Harvick and graduate of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program.

    The conversation is fairly normal until, out of nowhere, one of the broadcasters says: "We call this in the television business the tap-dance and people know we can't dance. Can you... gotta little tap for us down there?"

    Houston, for his part, is able to whip up a short dance before returning to work. It was an odd moment and Jalopnik readers weren't the only one to notice. Matt McLaughlin over at Front Stretch also picked up on this strangeness and noted the double standard:

    During the rain delay, an ESPN broadcaster asked a black crew member if he could tap dance. Oddly enough, I can't recall any white crew members being asked to do so.

    Funny, we can't either. Can anyone identify the voice of the broadcaster? The main announcers are Rusty Wallace, Allen Bestwick, and Brad Daugherty with Andy Petree, Dale Jarrett, and Marty Reid on the play-by-play.

    UPDATE: Some of our commenters think it's Marty Reid. We agree, it sounds most like him.
  2. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Completely innocuous in context. I find announcers who refer to black running backs avoiding tacklers as "jitterbugging" more troublesome.

    Reminded me of an interview with Dule Hill who is a trained tap dancer and danced on a recent episode of Psych. They asked him why he never danced on The West Wing - he said being one of the few black people on the show, he didn't think it was appropriate to be tap dancing in the Oval Office.
  3. doubledown68

    doubledown68 Active Member

    I didn't know there was any racial undertones to the word "jitterbug" And if there was, I'd have thought that Wham! killed them off years ago.
  4. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Besides coaches do not like running backs that "jitterbug". With closing speed of LB's and DB's nowadays backs need to hit the hole and turn on the jets.
    No pussyfooting or Jitterbugging.
  5. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    These guys? The poster-children of the family values crowd?
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  6. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    Outing alert: Deeper Background is Jesse Jackson.
  7. NoOneLikesUs

    NoOneLikesUs Active Member

    I fail to see racist intent in that segment.
  8. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Was Mr. Bo Gangles written in the 70s or 60s?

    Does Steve Smith eat there?
  9. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I don't know if it is racist, but it's certainly "racial" if you say that "everyone knows we can't dance" but ask a black dude to boogie for you.

    You don't see that?
  10. SportsDude

    SportsDude Active Member

    Dule Hill should be a household name.
  11. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    Were George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley the inspirations for the C. Thomas Howell movie "Soul Man"?
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  12. murphyc

    murphyc Well-Known Member

    In the early 1990s, when ESPN needed to fill time during a NASCAR rain delay, all they had to do was interview DW. First as DW the driver, then as DW the car owner. He did quite the Junior Johnson impersonation.
    Here's one example:
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