Clippers announcers offended for pronunciation of the word Iranian

11/21/09 in NBA   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

Clippers announcers Ralph Lawler and Mike Smith were suspended for apparently mispronouncing the word "Iranian", according to an LA Times report. Here's the conversation that led to the complaint, and the ensuing suspension:

Smith: “Look who’s in.”

Lawler: “Hamed Haddadi. Where’s he from?”

Smith: “He’s the first Iranian to play in the NBA.” (Smith pronounced Iranian as “Eye-ranian,” a pronunciation that offended the viewer who complained.)

Lawler: “There aren’t any Iranian players in the NBA,” repeating Smith’s mispronunciation.

Smith: “He’s the only one.”

Lawler: “He’s from Iran?”

Smith: “I guess so.”

Lawler: “That Iran?”

Smith: Yes.

Lawler: “The real Iran?”

Smith: “Yes.”

Lawler: “Wow. Haddadi – that’s H-A-D-D-A-D-I.”

Smith: “You’re sure it’s not Borat’s older brother?”

Smith: “If they ever make a movie about Haddadi, I’m going to get Sacha Baron Cohen to play the part.”

Lawler: “Here’s Haddadi. Nice little back-door pass. I guess those Iranians can pass the ball.”

Smith: “Especially the post players.

Lawler: “I don’t know about their guards.”

I'm not entirely sure that the suspension is warranted... at least for the pronunciation. I could see people taking issue with the rest of the conversation, but whatever.

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