Olbermann has his Irvin moment


The calls to can Michael Irvin’s racist ass after his Tony Romomust have some black in him comment on the Dan Patrick show a few weeks ago were endless, but somehow I doubt anyone will mention the remarks Keith Olbermann made about Asians yesterday.

While talking about merchandise sales, Patrick asked Olbermann if he would be surprised that Allen Iverson’s jersey is more popular in China than Yao Ming’s, to which KO responded, “Yes…well I mean not everybody’s Yao Ming’s size.” The two immediately erupted with laughter.

Olbermann did cover his ass better than Irvin following his laughter, talking about how amusing it would be to see three foot tall children wearing a Ming sized jersey.

My point in brining this up certainly isn’t to condemn Olbermann, who is phenomenal on the radio and MSNBC, but rather to point out the inconsistencies of those who are quick to play the “he must be fired” card when someone makes a tasteless, yet amusing joke.

The truth is both comments were harmless, but they were very similar. Irvin made the same predictable joke the rest of the world makes whenever a white athlete can run fast or jump high, while KO and Patrick had a laugh about the universal Asian stereotype.

The difference is the latter won’t draw a second listen, while Irvin faced national scrutiny.


Anonymous 12:21 PM, December 23, 2006  

I think you're stretching it a bit here by calling Olbermann's comment "racist." Come on! Yao Ming is huge even for an NBA player, is he not? I found information on someone's blog (not necessarily the most reliable source but there you have it) that the average height of an NBA player is about 6-7. Yao Ming is 7-6. In other words, even in the land of the giants he's a giant.

I seriously doubt Olbermann meant anything else other than to make a joke about Ming's size, period. He wasn't saying "Ha ha, those Chinese would be too tiny to wear Yao Ming's jersey." He was saying "Just about everyone on the planet would be too tiny to wear Ming's jersey!" Which might explain why it doesn't sell well even in his home country.

dan 12:50 PM, December 23, 2006  

I doubt he was trying to be racist either. I'm just saying he used the same joke about the asian stereotype that irvin made about white athletic people.

I was just making a point that no one even pays attention to that, but because people don't like irvin for his past, they try to attack him.

It was obvious that he was making a joke directed at asians though, subcocious or not, because both he and patrick thought it was hilarious.

thanks for reading

Anonymous 10:13 PM, December 23, 2006  

It's a good point. But if olldbermann was a crack, he'd be getting the same shit too.

Stan 3:27 AM, December 27, 2006  

You're really reaching on this one. To compare that comment, which can easily be taken at face value as nothing more than a comment on Yao's enormous size, to Irvin's unmistakably racially targeted remark is silly at best.

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