There is a resolution in the Damon Bruce saga. Although there was speculation about Bruce losing his job and advertisers being upset with his now infamous rant on women in sports, his discipline was a 2 day suspension. The embattled host returned to his regular 12-3 PT timeslot on KNBR 1050 in San Francisco Tuesday afternoon. He had missed two days of work, his pregame host duties for the San Francsico 49ers and Monday's show.
As opposed to Friday's show when he neglected to truly apologize for his remarks and let loose on the "feminization" of men in sports, Bruce was saying the right things on Twitter before hitting the airwaves Tuesday, saying he was "humbled" and offering an apology.
It's a privilege to return to the airwaves today. Thanks to for the support. Many, many lessons have been learned. Please accept my apology.— Damon Bruce (@DamonBruce) November 12, 2013
If I've lost your respect or trust, I hope you'll give me a chance to earn it back. I'm humbled by this and focused on moving forward.— Damon Bruce (@DamonBruce) November 12, 2013
Bruce also briefly apologized at the beginning of his show today. Via Bay Area Sports Guy:
"I would like to personally apologize for all the negative attention that I have brought upon my station, my call letters and my colleagues. It was not my intent to draw such a negative reaction. This was not a publicity stunt in any way. Everything went astray. The segment completely went astray. I do apologize. It’s live radio. I officially touched the third rail, and it has cost me dearly in many ways.
I hope it hasn’t cost me too much with you. The feelings that I expressed and represented do not reflect my true feelings, especially about women. All I can say is that if I lost your respect, I hope to begin to earn it back. I hope to begin that process today.
I have been humbled by this experience. It has been insane. To all those who’ve reached out, let me know that we’re still pals, to all the support that I’ve seen on Twitter, it has meant an awful lot to me. Thank you very much. Thank you to Brad. And you know how we’re going to get back to it, by getting to get back to it. Thank you for being back with me."
Bruce again said he was sorry at the end of his show today saying he let people down and hoping listeners would stick with him. He certainly sounded like a contrite man from what I heard at the end of today's show and not the defiant martyr he made himself out to be before the weekend.
There are going to be many individuals upset with KNBR for what can be objectively described as a very, very lenient punishment and they are certainly within their rights to feel that way. If you'll remember, Tony Kornheiser got 2 weeks for criticizing one of Hannah Storm's outfits. There's no blueprint for radio suspensions and firings, but a neutral observer would say that Damon Bruce can count himself fortunate to host his show today.
That said, firing Bruce was never going to immediately change the culture in sports talk radio. If this episode has taught him a valuable lesson and he's a changed man moving forward, then good for him and second chances. If it's exposed sports talk radio hosts around the country to a world that goes beyond the "I'm right, you're wrong, women are things" viewpoint and made them re-think archaic viewpoints then that would be a positive as well. Already there's been some excellent writing about some of the larger issues surrounding women in sports and the culture of sports that are worth reading coming out of the last few days. Moving forward, the true impact of all of this is going to be whether those changes to the sports culture take place, or whether Generic Sports Talk Shock Jock #2 is the next in line to get on his soapbox and say, "this is going to come across as very misogynistic..."
I'm a life long player and fan of sports.
I have never heard of this hemorrhoid.
And, I want to hear even less.
Just unreal. Bruce goes on a misogynistic rant gets a 2 day "suspension" Meanwhile Michelle Beadle goes on a podcast, speaks her opinion & tells the truth and her show is cancelled without warning. Which one looks like their boss again? This is partly why the top 100 Talk radio hosts all look the same.
KNBR refuses to comment. Thinks it will go away. While I do give them some credit for loyalty/standing behind their guy, a 48 hour suspension is total bullshit and the lack of comment is too. Cowardly in fact.
Given KNBR has maybe 12 core advertisers that are easy to find, I don't think it will be too hard for those unhappy with how they have handled this to put the pressure on via advertisers.
The closest he comes to actually referring to what he said is
"I officially touched the third rail"
"The feelings that I expressed and represented do not reflect my true feelings, especially about women."
In short, he doesn't take back what he said. "Feelings" could mean anything, could completely exclude any of his ideas expressed in the rant. He could be saying he loves women but he thinks they should stay out of sports and that there are not good women sportswriters. He doesn't hate women, just thinks that all women suck at sportswriting due to biological reasons.
No apology for his across the board condemnation of the entire female side of the sportswriting world.
Basically just equivocated and said: "I stand by what I said but I realize that I shouldn't have even spoken about that stuff on air." That's why he said "third rail". In effect, he's basically admitted that he really does believe everything he said but he just shouldn't have said it.
It's just ridiculous and sad.
I didn't hear him, so maybe it's different on the air, but I see no contrition here. It's a "I'm sorry you were offended by what I said" apology, not an "I'm sorry for what I said." Nowhere near good enough. The Tweets are even worse. He's very careful to use the passive voice -- "lessons were learned" -- but in case you're confused, they weren't learned by Damon Bruce.
In fairness, several reports are that Bruce has lost his job as 49er pre-game host, a plum assignment.
pretty spineless by KNBR but par for the course. 2 days? A weekend and a holiday? A full week was warranted but KNBR is run by a bunch of morons.
@NoahRosenthal right. he's sorry for the attention he brought to the station, but he's not sorry for condemning Gwen Knapp, Ann Killion, and others on grounds of sex. He's not sorry for making a case that women should not be involved in writing about sports like football. In short, he stands behind what he said.
@hanz34949 @NoahRosenthal I think you two are being unfair in this case. Of course he cannot apologize for his opinion (which is what he expressed). That would be ridiculous. To apologize for this opinion would be TOTALLY disingenuous. if not you, others would have strongly criticized him for it. The fact that he feels this way was not introduced during this rant. He has long bemoaned women in roles that are part of the periphery and distract attention from what he feels should be the focus. He has long been proud of not courting the "casual fan". His belief that this is ruining sports has been implied in what he has said on numerous occasions in the past. During this rant though, he got very explicit in his accusation and, furthermore, left little or no room for differing opinions. I believe that Damon is still developing as a talk-show host and, more importantly, as an individual. I believe two things will happen: (1) Over time, he will learn to allow for other facts to come in and help shape his opinions on issues. (2) Over time, he will learn to express himself in less offensive manner.
I hope he recognizes that his talent and knowledge will be more important in delivering a quality show's popularity than making strong statements.
@hanz34959, Hmm, looks like my post got lost in the ether. I'll try again (the Readers' Digest version this time. LOL).
I will not argue with any of the points or opinions you raise (except for the Hitler analogy which I think is a bit hyperbolic). But, I think to expect that Damon is going to give a clear "mea culpa" is probably not realistic. This is for a couple of reasons: (1) He believe deep in his soul that what he said was correct and that it was received the wrong way. (2) He has one of the "qualities" that is shared with 99.9% of talk-show hosts: Stubbornness.
I believe that time will tell whether he has grown from this experience. IMHO, he is still developing as a person and as a host. He also, apparently, has some emotional baggage that is helping to shape his relationship with women - including, but not limited to, those who are pursuing positions in his chosen profession. I think he feels, in his heart, that without having the experience of participating in male sports, that one cannot begin to understand it. And he knows that women have not done this, so they are EASY targets of his wrath.
I really hope, for his sake, that over time he understands that while this lack of experience may present an obstacle, that it is not insurmountable.
Anyway, lest I be mistaken for a hopeless Damon Bruce apologist, I want to state that I was listening to his show and heard a "pre-rant", if you will. He was talking about the whole bullying thing and, frankly, he was already becoming rather obnoxious enough that I chose to change the station. Note that this is NOT the first time that I have made this choice (changing the station that is). He can be quite annoying at times. But, one thing he has always been (as far as I can tell) is intellectually honest - that is what makes his show an interesting one. For that reason, I recommend that you not hold your breath waiting for a true apology. I believe, though, over time, he will learn that the truth lies somewhere other than his own opinion.
Jkwills, Good measured response. I hear what you're saying, and I think I'd be inclined to agree with your tolerant view if Damon had made a real stab at apologizing for the substance of the rant.
A real apology would have at least made an attempt, however disingenous, at saying that what he said was inaccurate, wrong, nasty, atavistic, etc. He could have for example apologized for the "women are giving us directions" thesis and said it was a completely overblown overstatement. He could have said something about valuing women, and disvaluing attacks against them on the airwaves.
Instead he opened his "apology" by apologizing to his station for the negative attention, says that the "negative attention" was not the intent of his rant; and that he touched third rail. He disavows the "feelings" represented in his rant, and then thanks his supporters, makes a plea for sympathy. Essentially, he's apologizing for eliciting the controversy.
There's nothing in there that would lead anyone to believe that Damon believes he either said anything wrong or did anything wrong. It's essentially a complaint, disguised as an apology, against the reaction against his rant. He says he hopes he can gain back respect of his listeners, but he's only apologized for causing a fuss, not for the disgusting things he said. Essentially, he's saying "Look, sorry I hit you. Let's move forward [I'm not making any promises about not hitting you again, and I don't think I was wrong to hit you. I just feel bad at how pissed everyone got at me when they saw your black eyes, which pissiness I blame on you for going out in public]."
To me he is just doubling down again and again and proudly standing his ground. It's not the way he said this stuff, it's the stuff he said that is objectionable and disgusting and there should be a response against that kind of sexist abusive prattle in this day and age; not to mention a response against the way Damon as proudly carried himself, painting himself as a victim, in the wake of that rant.
Hitler was very upfront about his beliefs and intentions, and Europe did not take him at his word, except when they heard what they wanted to hear. People should take Damon at his word--he's basically being honest with us, given him that--and acknowledge that he is an atavistic sexist who believes women are controlling and ruining sports and do not belong in sportswriting and he is against them. Should that person have job as radio host?