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'Jeopardy!' Contestant Has The Internet Cringing After Somehow Mixing Up Babe Ruth And Jackie Robinson

'Jeopardy!' Contestant Has The Internet Cringing After Somehow Mixing Up Babe Ruth And Jackie Robinson
Louis Van Oeyen/Western Reserve Historical Society/Getty Images; 'Jeopardy!'/CBS Television Distribution; Hulton Archive/Stringer/Getty Images

Think about the worst gaffe you've ever made. Have you got it in your head? Okay, now imagine it's inadvertently low-key racist. And then, that it happened on national television.

Have you died of secondhand embarrassment yet? Then you may be approaching the same level of horror that a Jeopardy! contestant is likely feeling after mixing up Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson on a recent episode.

The contestant in question, Xiaoke Ying, a sophomore at the University of Southern California, was competing in the third semifinal round of Jeopardy!'s annual College Tournament. She buzzed in to answer a $1000 question in the "Unique College Courses" category about a course at Arizona State about baseball that covers "this player who broke the color barrier in 1947."

And, well, YIKES.

Xiaoke buzzed in and answered confidently, "Who is Babe Ruth?"


Ying was immediately rebuffed by Alex Trebek with a single, simple word that sums it all up.


The proper question, as Xiaoke's competitor, Yale sophomore Nathaniel Miller, quickly clarified, was "Who is Jackie Robinson?"

To top it off, the episode aired on April 15, known as Jackie Robinson Day to commemorate the day its namesake, perhaps the most legendary Black baseball player of all time, made his major league debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.


Not to kick a lady when she's down, but even a congenitally sports-impaired person like this writer found himself yelling "Oh COME ON!" at the TV. That's not even a sports trivia question, it's a basic American history question and a milestone in the history of racial progress in this country. It's a pretty wild swing-and-a-miss. Bless Xiaoke's heart!

Of course, "Sports Twitter" had a field day with Ying's gaffe.

Although there were a few people who should take a breath, maybe.

Okay, calm down dude. Sports is not "common knowledge" for most people, only for sports NERDS. This is the kind of thing that makes you want to switch sides and be team Xiaoke, as one gent seems to have done.

Anyway, Ying got the last laugh in the end: despite her disastrous answer she won the game and will advance to the final round in the College Tournament.