FOX Sportscaster Chris Myers should try sticking to analyzing sports. Recently he made a blunder for the ages when he made insensitive remarks about Hurricane Katrina victims while also taking shots at illegal immigrants.
Here's what Myers had to say while filling in on the Dan Patrick Show, "My best is and maybe it's a little corny, but I like it. It's a great country here. We have disastrous issues where people pull together and help themselves and I thought the people in Tennessee, unlike and I'm not going to name names. When a natural disaster hits, people were not standing on a rooftop trying to blame the government, okay, they helped each other out through this."
Wait, there's more.
Myers continued, "Middle Tennessee where a lot of hardworking, tax-paying, legal American citizens have been affected by the floods and are trying to rebuild their lives and they are helping out and I think that other people around the country, of course the music industry in and around Nashville helping, without making a big deal out of it and I think that's a good thing."
Once the mainstream got wind of the comments FOX and Myers had to go into damage control by issuing an apology.
Myers stated, "I would very much like to apologize to you and the people of New Orleans for the inappropriate and insensitive remarks I made this past Monday," Myers said. "Clearly, these remarks demonstrated poor judgment and I sincerely regret making them."
Is an apology enough?
Should he be suspended?
I guess this commentary takes on additional significance because I met Myers. Prior to Game 1 of the World Series in 2008 in Florida we engaged in some pretty good dialogue. We were both on the field as the Tampa Bay Rays were set to take on the Philadelphia Phillies. My initial impression of Myers was good as he appeared to be very open-minded and courteous.
Here are a few quotes from commentary I wrote about my World Series experience and my conversation with Myers in 2008: "FOX Sports anchor Chris Myers sitting near the dugout. I went over to say hello. We had a great conversation about sports and about some of his past work."
I continued, "As we were wrapping up our conversation he surprisingly asked me for a card. (I totally forgot to pack my cards but I still managed to make connections.) He then gave me one of his cards from his briefcase. After approximately 10 minutes of dialogue Myers suggested it was nice speaking with me then he issued the following: 'What you are doing is great. We need more journalists like you.'"
I guess Myers was right. We need more journalists like me to raise consciousness to controversial situations as they arise. Who would have ever known two years later Myers would be the subject of such controversy.
Hurricane Katrina is a human tragedy that many are still dealing with five years later and Senate Bill 1077 is a hot-button topic to say the least. While I'd love to give Myers the benefit of the doubt I just can't.
No matter one's political affiliation or race from a purely humanistic standpoint one should have a level of sensitivity towards what happened to the people of New Orleans. Myers once lived and worked in New Orleans. If anyone in the media should be sensitive to the plight of the people of New Orleans, it should be Myers.
Myers did apologize -- that's all he could do. But allow me to be objective here: We have a First Amendment which means we have freedom of speech. Even though we have freedom of speech Myers was clearly out of bounds with his comments: His points were simply baseless and in poor in taste.
A suspension should be in order for Myers. FOX should give Myers some time off to think about what he said so he can better articulate his thoughts in the future.
What do you think?
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