SBD/Issue 51/Sports Media

Clippers Broadcasters Pulled For Game After Haddadi Comments

Clippers Announcers Lawler (l) and Smith (r)
Pulled From Friday's Telecast
FS Prime Ticket pulled Clippers broadcasters Ralph Lawler and Michael Smith from Friday's Nuggets-Clippers broadcast after a fan "objected to an on-air exchange" the announcers had about Grizzlies C Hamed Haddadi, according to Diane Pucin of the L.A. TIMES. Lawler and Smith had a "40-second exchange" during last Wednesday's Clippers-Grizzlies game about Haddadi, the first Iran citizen to play in the NBA. The back-and-forth included "several instances in which Smith and Lawler pronounced Iran as 'Eye-ran,' and included the comparison of Haddadi to the fictional character Borat." FS Prime Ticket "issued a statement of apology but made no mention that Lawler and Smith had been taken off the air." Clippers halftime and postgame analysts Michael Eaves and Don MacLean called Friday night's game "but did not mention Lawler and Smith." Lawler and Smith are expected back for tonight's T'Wolves-Clippers game (L.A. TIMES, 11/21).  FANHOUSE.com's Brett Pollakoff wrote Lawler and Smith "likely meant no harm, and were probably just doing some late-game shtick to try to keep the audience entertained." But it is "never a good idea to start riffing on another player's ethnic background" (FANHOUSE.com, 11/21). In L.A., Tom Hoffarth wrote Lawler and Smith "did cross a line, but nothing that is outlandish." However, the comments "should be reported, dealt with, explained, used as a teaching moment, and you shake your head and move forward" (INSIDESOCAL.com, 11/21).

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