Sherman Controversy Combines Race, Condescension and Marketing
Sherman also discussed what actually sparked all the attention: his post-game interview with Fox sideline reporter Erin Andrews. You can watch it here if you somehow missed it. Sherman didn’t apologize about that either. What he basically said was that he regretted how it came out, but hey, these things happen.
This story has exploded like infected spores spreading across the sports world. It has everything if you’re looking for unabashed undertones of racism, blatant condescension, and the realities of marketing.
Every story involving Andrews circles back to her credibility as a reporter. Notice I didn’t say “by” Andrews. I said “involving” Andrews. She winds up in the middle of the controversy because she doesn’t have the foundation as an actual reporter to make her her qualifications a non-issue. She’s not a reporter. She doesn’t have the experience or the in-the-trenches ability to be one. Because of that, when something happens that requires the sensibilities of someone who will automatically know what to do next based on experiencing these types of incidents hundreds of times before, she has the startled, “whaddoo I do now?!?” look on her face forcing Fox to get in her ear and tell her to send it back to the people in the booth who the the upper management of the network knows will be polished enough to explain it away without stammering, stuttering or embarrassing themselves.
As a “sideline reporter” with everything the job entails, Andrews has what Fox is looking for. She’s pretty. She’s charming. She’s likable. She’s well-spoken. She handles herself well in front of the camera. As a reporter, she’s a joke. There to do fluff pieces and represent the network by accumulating a few more viewers who would prefer to look at her than Jimmy Johnson or Jay Glazer, she serves the purpose she was meant to serve. Either unaware of this, trying to bust out of those manacles or because the network wants her to appear credible, she is in a constant and mistaken battle to validate herself and the job she has.
Much of the ridicule is her own doing. From almost calling Justin Verlander “Justin Bieber”; to her interminable whining about the cold in Green Bay; to the softball pieces she does; to this latest controversy with Sherman, she isn’t accustomed to doing the things that reporters must do to be assessed on their work and not that which they don’t or can’t do. Instead of tacitly accepting that the only reason she has the job is because of attributes other than skills, there’s always an explanation as to what happened and why. We’re not hearing about the Sherman vs. Crabtree battle, but hearing about it through the lens of how it involved Andrews.