A lesson in being unprofessional, direct from the men at ESPN!
ESPN analyst Barry Booker choked on his foot during an SEC Network broadcast of Missouri vs Arkansas men's basketball game on Saturday night.
A promotion for an SEC (Southeastern Conference) gymnastics match between the Alabama and Arkansas women's gymnastics teams prompted Booker to say:
"I wanna go see some scantily clad girls!"
He then went on to say he would be "in [his] hotel room" at the time of the broadcast on Valentine's Day.
"Go hang out with the ladies.... I mean... I wanna go see some scantily clad girls" - Barry Booker @SECNetwork https://t.co/KnlYJZJ3KE— W00PIGS000IE (@W00PIGS000IE) 1581294401.0
The comment was immediately off-putting to Richard Cross, the lead announcer for the evening, who quickly cut Booker off:
"No, no! One of the great family atmospheres that you will find in all of college athletics is gymnastics meets."
@W00PIGS000IE @SECNetwork How to talk yourself out of a job— Jon Austin (@Jon Austin) 1581294866.0
@W00PIGS000IE @SECNetwork Gross! These are extremely talented athletes who have spent years training. Get your min… https://t.co/v8oMzYGd15— alieye 🍀 (@alieye 🍀) 1581352651.0
@W00PIGS000IE @SECNetwork Wrong answer Ahole. If that is how you look at some of the best academic athletes, then m… https://t.co/A969OQ1FTe— Rick English (@Rick English) 1581373525.0
@W00PIGS000IE @SECNetwork Everything about this game was bad, including the commentary.— Razorback Troll (@Razorback Troll) 1581294600.0
The SEC said Booker's comment did "not meet the expectations we have for the SEC Network."
"The SEC's women's gymnastics student-athletes deserve our support for many reasons, including their dedication and achievement. We are in communication with the SEC Network and ESPN personnel, and I am confident this issue will be handled appropriately."
The comments made during yesterday’s telecast were inappropriate and unacceptable. We take this matter seriously an… https://t.co/FlVbrt9sR1— SEC Network (@SEC Network) 1581283901.0
People are rallying to make sure the SEC actually takes action.
@SECNetwork His comment put elite women’s gymnastics on the level of child pornography. These girls are elite athl… https://t.co/3IrqcRb2Qe— Dr Jupiter (@Dr Jupiter) 1581403210.0
@SECNetwork This man is not a professional and should be fired. He clearly has no idea of the talent and training i… https://t.co/LMyLojmzVQ— sherri fochler (@sherri fochler) 1581360330.0
@SECNetwork Haven’t these guys learned anything in the last few years, like how to keep their minds out of the gutt… https://t.co/boVC8Urg3P— Steve L (@Steve L) 1581373974.0
@SECNetwork If ‘addressing internally’ means he is still employed, this is a double failure, on his part and yours.… https://t.co/71CFw1llm0— danafrench (@danafrench) 1581285029.0
Sydney McGlone, a former gymnast with the Arkansas SEC team, tweeted her disapproval as well.
As a former gymnast in the SEC, I am disappointed in the comments made yesterday towards gymnasts during the ARK/Mi… https://t.co/dRE7T5ticj— Sydney McGlone (@Sydney McGlone) 1581282531.0
But as the SEC has not yet taken official action, people are wondering, what is being done to address the issue?
@SECNetwork #firebarrybooker. And do it now. These remarks are disgusting.— Cindy Ballas (@Cindy Ballas) 1581367475.0
@SECNetwork Nothing less than a firing. What he said is sick, liable, and unprofessional.— Jamie Warren Jones ❤🇺🇸🙌 (@Jamie Warren Jones ❤🇺🇸🙌) 1581303461.0
@SECNetwork Fire him immediately— Amber-Red (@Amber-Red) 1581351523.0
@SECNetwork Think of all OUR grandmothers mothers sisters aunts All OUR Daughters and nieces Everyday this guy can… https://t.co/NLIGIyEnyI— Alyson WunDahLende (@Alyson WunDahLende) 1581383316.0
Booker's meager apology on air the night of the incident did little to stall the backlash coming his way. And while the SEC decides how to handle the problem, people's minds are pretty clearly made up about Booker's on air behavior.