Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

NFL Broadcaster Stereotypes Jews During Live Game

San Diego Chargers broadcaster Hank Bauer joked about penny pinching and some other Jewish stereotypes; he’s since been suspended for a game

By: Peter Herriman

Published: August 27th, 2014 in Sports » Local

Long-time announcer for the San Diego Chargers Hank Bauer let loose what many are calling an anti-Semitic joke against his Jewish co-host (of nine years) Josh Lewin during a live radio broadcast over the weekend.

At the end of a Sunday pre-season exhibition game where the Chargers faced the San Francisco 49ers, broadcast live on KIOZ 105.3, Lewin remarked that many personal seat ticket-holders had left the stadium early, but that given the high costs involved, he would be sure to “sit in it…for a long time” in order to get his money’s worth. Bauer said there was “no question” that Lewin would get the maximum out of his seat, and added: “But then again, you know how copper wire was invented? Somebody dropped a penny between Josh and his family member.”

Twitter users have been up in arms over the incident, with some calling for Bauer’s resignation. However, an informal Internet poll organized by San Diego’s ABC affiliate showed that a huge majority of fans thought that Bauer, who has called the plays for the Chargers for decades, shouldn’t face serious repercussions over his words. Of course, the fact that he has been a loyal announcer does not mean he is not immune to say anti-Semitic jokes about Jews and “penny pinching.”

On his Twitter account, Bauer made a statement via Twitter, apologizing for his insensitivity.

Tammy Gillies with the Anti-Defamation League of San Diego issued a statement in response to Bauer’s apology, saying that it was inadequate. “Bauer’s statement implies that a positive interpretation of his remarks exists; we disagree. While he clearly wants to put this incident behind him, we wish he had been courageous enough to take full ownership for his words.”

Bauer has since been suspended for one game, after the Chargers released a statement regarding the incident:

“Although we know Hank had no ill-will behind his remarks, we agree the comments were inappropriate. Per Clear Channel’s decision, Hank will not be broadcasting Thursday night’s game. Hank has been a strong radio voice for the Chargers for the past 16 years and a passionate supporter of the team since his playing days. We look forward to Chargers fans receiving the same high-quality broadcast from Josh (Lewin) and Hank when he returns to the booth for the regular season.”

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