By admin | October 24, 2009
By Richard Allen
During a NASCAR promo ad in the midst of the Ohio State vs. Minnesota college football game on Saturday Bob Griese made a comment that was apparently offensive to someone. Who? I don’t know, but apparently someone.
Someone was so offended that Griese felt the need to later apologize for the remark.
When asked where Juan Pablo Montoya was when a list of the top-5 in the Sprint Cup standings were shown on screen, Griese replied, “He’s out having a taco.”
How dare he! Wait a minute. Why was that offensive? Tacos are a traditional Mexican food according to at least two sources I found after doing a quick internet search. Montoya is Colombian, not Mexican.
If the apology came because there was fear of offense being taken due to some misunderstanding that Mexicans and Colombians are all the same because they speak a form of the same language or because both countries are located south of the U.S. border, then the biggest offense should have been taken by geography teachers such as myself.
Now, if the apology were made because Griese meant to imply that Montoya and his team were being outworked while they were spending all of their time at their favorite Mexican eatery rather than working on their car, that might have actually been offensive.
In this hyper-sensitive culture we now live in people feel the need to apologize for anything and everything, whether it is necessary or not. I have no idea whether or not Montoya likes tacos. It doesn’t matter because this remark was nothing to apologize for.
Had Griese been referring to some white southerner and said, “He’s probably off eating biscuits and gravy,” then I, as a white southerner, would not have been offended. No one should have been offended by Griese’s remark. I can’t speak for Montoya but if he was offended he needs to lighten up and so does anyone else who might’ve had a problem with the statement.
For the record I love tacos and was not bothered in the least by Griese’s comment, but was bothered by the fact that he, or someone at ABC, felt the need to apologize.
And another for the record, when the comment was made I was at my mother’s house…eating biscuits and gravy. I apologize to all southerners for offending you with my stereotypical actions.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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