Sports-Talk Legend: Blacks Can’t Cut It in Sports Radio

Mark Von Holden/Getty Images for SIRIUS XM Radio
Mark Von Holden/Getty Images for SIRIUS XM Radio

Just days after Donald Sterling was exposed as a racist on secretly recorded audio produced by TMZ, longtime New York talk radio legend and current Sirius XM host Chris “Mad Dog” Russo had what many are now calling his own “Donald Sterling-Al Campanis moment.”


Los Angeles Dodgers executive Al Campanis’ four decades of MLB service came to an abrupt end with a statement he made on April 6, 1987, on ABC’s Nightline. Author Roger Kahn asked why there were so few blacks running ball clubs 40 years after Jackie Robinson’s historic moment in 1947. Campanis responded with an answer that has become one of the most memorable, racially degrading, and revealing moments in sports TV history: “I truly believe that they may not have some of the necessities to be, let’s say, a field manager, or perhaps a general manager.”

When Ted Koppel gave Campanis a chance to save his ass, Campanis asked, “Why are black men or black people not good swimmers? Because they don’t have the buoyancy.”

The Dodgers, acting to dampen a swelling storm of criticism, particularly from the black community, fired Campanis two days after he made the remarks. He wasn’t the first and we knew he wouldn’t be the last.

Now Russo’s time to answer the “bigot bell” is swiftly approaching.

In a YouTube post provided by The Warrior Report, Howard Kinsel calls into Mad Dog’s show and poses a question to Russo about his failure to have African-American sports journalists as hosts. In a stunning admission, Russo proudly acknowledges that fact and blatantly says that there are no qualified blacks worthy or capable of coming on his show and enlightening his paid listeners. The caller and subsequent caller were both flabbergasted by Russo’s ignorance, pompousness and insistence on reiterating that blacks basically can’t cut the mustard in his business.

Take a listen to this clip, and when you finish spitting up your 40-ounce and touching up on your Ebonics, get back with me.

This is beyond absurd, and once again these racist and outdated beliefs are coming from a white man who is an icon in his business and has been in the game for decades, with the power to hire people for positions and influence careers. He flat out told his listening audience that it’s too hard for a brother to sit in a chair and speak for four hours with no commercial breaks and entertain people. Like black minds are not deep, creative, witty and eloquently expressive. With an attitude like that it’s no wonder the shows at the stations Russo has worked at in the past never had any black producers, program directors or co-hosts.


Read more at the Shadow League.