Sunday, August 7, 2011

What to Make of the Tony Bruno Situation

I have listened to sports-talk host Tony Bruno for years. I find him to be a humorous and entertaining host, who does not take sports too seriously. Sports are meant to be fun, and many sports media personalities seem to forget that. Anyway, Bruno has been a lightning rod of controversy this week, as he took to twitter, and made a  racist comment towards Giants reliever Ramon Ramirez. The comments were: "gutless (…) Giants, Bochy is a coward for having his illegal alien pitcher hit a guy since mighty Frisco boys."

For the record, Ramirez is from the Dominican Republic would not be able to pitch in the majors if were an illegal alien. So that part of Bruno's comments are completely ridiculous. Is the comment offensive and racist? I suppose, although I don't know if I would go as far as to call it a racial slur. The comment was insensitive, but I do not believe that Bruno is a racist.

Bruno obviously needs to think before he tweets. A man with over 30 years in the media should know better to say anything that could be construed as racist or offensive. Being edgy is one thing, having no common sense is the department that Bruno comes from. He at least had the sense to take the tweet down, but the damage was already done at that point.

He posted a pseudo-apology on his Facebook page, although I would hardly consider it an apology. He still took shots at Giants manager Bruce Bochy, and called fans who criticized him "vile and disgusting. Check out the apology here. Bruno is a good radio personality, but a class A idiot. 

Bruno claims that Bochy "ordered" Ramirez to hit several Phillies batters. I have watched Bochy manage the Padres for 13 years, and Bochy never sent it "headhunters" to do dirty work. So why would Bochy do that now? Bruno is just a die-hard Phillies fan who let his emotions get the best of him. 

We have all said things that we regret. We are human. Have I ever said "racist" comments? Of course I have, as I am sure you have. The difference is that I am not a nationally syndicated radio host. No one really cares what you or I thinks. Bruno has a responsibility to use his brain before he opens his mouth.

Bruno has received death threats and pages of criticism on his Facebook page. Funny how people turn into warriors behind a computer screen. People who threaten the life of someone over a comment on Twitter, should really just do us all a favor and get a life. 

Bruno's future is uncertain; his contract expires in September, and while he is popular, Premiere Radio, who syndicates Bruno's show may look to go in a different direction. Bruno also needs to learn what an apology actually is. Bruno has tried to play the victim card in this whole situation, which is almost as stupid as the comments he made in the first place. Own up to it Bruno, and do not make any excuses.

I really hope this isn't the last of Tony Bruno on the airwaves. He is a talented radio personality who just made a mistake.

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