From Phil Mushnick in Monday’s New York Post.
It’s clear by now that ESPN has no intention of backing off until every kid on the continent regards sports as an invite to behave like a desensitized, name-calling, wise-guy of a punk.
Saturday, during Game 1 of Nets-Raptors, ESPN found a kid in the stands dripping with “ESPN Attitude.” Naturally, he was rewarded with a close-up – a pat on the back, an “attaboy.”
The kid, maybe 14, was holding a sign that carried a nasty double put-down. It identified New Jersey as the home of garbage dumps, thus it further identified ex-Raptor Vince Carter as “trash.”
Imagine, the kid proudly held a sign calling Carter “trash.” And ESPN’s director was happy to tell a national audience that this fan and the message he displayed met with ESPN’s full approval. Hey, kids, this is how you get on ESPN!
There isn’t enough incivility at sports events. The NBA hasn’t suffered enough shameful episodes of audience participation. And ESPN hasn’t soberly reported enough of them.
So keep stepping on the gas, fellas; never pass on an opportunity, big or small. Then keep pretending that you can’t figure out how it got this way
Uh, yeah, never mind how VC’s treatment at the hands of his former fans was one of the major storylines going into this series. And never mind how there’s no better way to illustrate the degree to which Carter has fallen from favor than to show a small child flipping him the bird or hurling a juice box or whatnot. I mean, why doesn’t Phil really admit what’s grinding his gears? — that all these trash dump jokes about Jersey make it doubly hard for him to resist the obvious punchline anytime Mrs. Phil asks to be kissed where it smells.