Gulu Ezekiel Blog: Oh no Deano!

2006 Aug 10 by

Gulu remembers previous on-air blunders!

Dean Jones is surely not the only international sports personality to reveal his racist streak. In the case of the former Australian batsmen though, he was foolish and careless enough to get caught red-handed.

Jones, an experienced broadcaster, committed the cardinal sin of making an offensive comment on air while under the impression that the live feed was not going out at the time. To use that as an alibi and whine about getting caught only makes Jones appear more culpable.

Practically the first rule of TV broadcasting is under no circumstances to make a foul remark or utter an obscenity when in the studio or while commentating on a match. There is after all always the danger of a mike somewhere around that is switched on at the time.

A few years ago former India opener Navjot Singh Sidhu was sacked by ESPN-STAR Sports for uttering the dreaded "F@#k" word live on air.

Co-anchor Alan Wilkins, the former Glamorgan pace bowler tauntingly asked Sidhu if he could pronounce "Worcestershire." Sidhu thought they had gone into an ad break when he responded by saying: "Don't f#$king provoke me, Wilko." It was suspected at the time that Sidhu had been deliberately set up as the channel was keen to dispense with his services. He has since become a freelance loudmouth across numerous channels in India.

Perhaps not all that surprisingly, two extremely vocal cricketers of the 70s, Tony Greig and Ian Chappell were also caught making offensive comments on air in Australia.

In April 2004, former Manchester United soccer manager Ron Atkinson resigned from his analyst's job with the ITV channel in the UK after a racist comment he made about Chelsea's black French international defender Marcel Desailly was inadvertently broadcast.

The same feed for cricket telecasts goes out to TV stations worldwide. However, not all have the same ad breaks. And this proved to be Jones' undoing.

While TEN Sports produced the pictures for the Sri Lanka/South Africa series, SuperSport which picked up the feed in South Africa was live on air as TEN Sports went for a break at the fall of a wicket, in this case Amla catching Kumar Sangakarra off Shaun Pollock.

This is when Jones turned to his fellow-commentators and made what he refers to as a joke about Amla. It has also been revealed that those fellow-commentators immediately objected to Jones' slur.

Back in 1987, a few years before the advent of cable TV in India, the national Doordarshan channel was telecasting the live coverage of the India v Australia Davis Cup semifinal match from White City stadium in Sydney. Two of the commentators were heard around India making obscene references to a woman's ample anatomy. It was during an ad break in Australia but it was still "live" in India.

Nearly 20 years later another Aussie sporting legend has blundered on air.

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