You might remember Detroit Tigers analyst Rod Allen best for plowing a catcher in Japan (which was the prequel to his famous mound charge). Well, during last night's Tigers/Twins game, he made a comment that did not sit well with Yahoo!'s Dave Brown. Before we really dig in, have a listen to the comment here:
Now, here's what Brown had to say about it:
Detroit Tigers broadcaster Rod Allen made an unfunny and inappropriate attempt at a joke about Latinos during FOX Sports Detroit's telecast Thursday night.
Allen, a color analyst since 2003, said the postgame meal in the Tigers clubhouse at Target Field should include rice and beans, because most of the team's lineup against the Twins had Latino heritage.
You see, the Latinos just love them some rice and beans, as the stereotype goes.
Would Allen, who is African-American, make a joke about a Tigers lineup that was mostly black requiring something stereotypical to eat? Would he stoop to make a watermelon joke? Maybe he would. Maybe he has. But that wouldn't make it right, or funny.
Brown continues, making it very clear that Allen's comment was unfunny and ignorant, but he should know that Allen actually induced a very sincere and familiar laugh from his padnuh Mario Impemba (it was not at all "nervous-sounding"). If the overly sensitive types are going to destroy Allen for his admittedly bad joke, you can't let those who laugh at it off the hook! After all, those are the people who enable 'jokes' like these. If Rod Allen didn't think it would've produced a laugh, especially from his padnuh, who he's interacting with every night, he probably wouldn't have said it at all. But I think it really boils down to people being a little too sensitive (I mean, Wikipedia says it's a popular Latino dish, it must be!)
Having said that, if Fuzzy Zoeller's remarks about Tiger Woods or Bob Griese's "he was out having a taco" comment about Juan Pablo Montoya taught us anything, it's that announcers should probably stay away from the cultural food stereotype jokes. Even though Woods and Montoya didn't care, both Zoeller and Griese were eaten alive by the media, ultimately leading to Zoeller losing endorsements and Griese being suspended for a week.
The only thing I really agree with Brown about is that there doesn't need to be any formal punishment for Allen, just a quick word with the brass that this type of comment isn't received well by everyone, so he might as well leave it off the menu.
UPDATE: Allen sheepishly brought up his comment during tonight's broadcast. As one could've suspected or looked into before going off on the man, it had to do with him knowing that the Latino players in the Tigers lineup enjoy eating -- yup, you guessed it -- Latino food. Carry on.