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Taco talk gets Griese suspended

The verdict has been returned.

For his on-air suggestion that NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya was not among the top drivers in the Sprint Cup because he was “out having a taco,” ESPN college football analyst Bob Griese will have plenty of time to eat tacos or anything else he might choose to order or prepare.  The Pro Football Hall of Famer has been suspended for a week.
It’s not ESPN’s first experience with live remarks that potentially offended persons of Spanish heritage.  In September 2008, former Monday Night Football analyst Tony Kornheiser had this to say after a portion of the Spanish game audio was played during the English version of the broadcast, “I took high school Spanish, and that either means ‘nobody is going to touch him’ or ‘could you pick up my dry cleaning in the morning?'”
Kornheiser later read a vague apology that left some viewers befuddled, and that was the end of it.
Though Griese’s stiffer penalty can be explained by the more direct nature of the ethnic connection, the notion that a Colombian would be eating a taco is nearly as confusing as the suggestion that someone speaking Spanish would be telling someone else to pick up his dry cleaning.
Unfortunately for Griese, the statement came just one day before Mark Sanchez provided more innocuous material by eating a hot dog during a game.    
And the irony is that the connection between Sanchez and a taco is more clear, given that both are Mexican.
Now, if you’ll excuse me for a moment, I need to eat a plate of pasta, dance on some grapes, and then “whack” someone.
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59 Responses to “Taco talk gets Griese suspended”
  1. ballhawk1 says: Oct 27, 2009 1:36 PM

    this is getting crazy…….whats next a guy wont be able to purchase a team because of past comments that were misconstrued…..oh wait that happened. I love the likes of al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Chris Dodd, Barney Franks and the rest of the unreal burnt out hippy free love cant we all get along idiots have this country running scared…

  2. DonTerrelli says: Oct 27, 2009 1:38 PM

    so lame

  3. Your comment submission failed for the following reasons: Registration is required. says: Oct 27, 2009 1:40 PM

    Good thing he didn’t say anything about the media’s coverage of hispanic NASCAR drivers, or he’d have been forced to resign, right?

  4. Eddie Drycleaner says: Oct 27, 2009 1:44 PM

    What’s derogotory about picking up Dry Cleaning? Florio and Kornheiser hate Drycleaners!

  5. Hauschild says: Oct 27, 2009 1:44 PM

    Ridiculous – absolutely.
    When is the machine gonna realize that people are people and it is virtually impossible to legislate political correctness???
    We’ve got a section of the country that are terrified of their own shadows now. Nice way to build the backbone of a country and people – sheesh?!?!?

  6. Occam says: Oct 27, 2009 1:53 PM

    This is why I love being Irish. No one ever stereotypes us.

  7. Mactator says: Oct 27, 2009 1:55 PM

    LOL, Florio the Godfather!

  8. Deb says: Oct 27, 2009 1:55 PM

    It was a thoughtless, tastless remark that warranted an apology. Bob made one, ESPN made one. That seemed to be the end of it so I’m surprised by this sudden turn. Suspending Griese after the apologies seems like overkill.
    Since I’m a one-sport girl, I’ve come to prefer the NFL Network anyway, but after following your links to Deadspin and reading about the culture at ESPN, I can hardly watch anymore. I keep expecting Boomer and company to show up in togas sporting fiddles a la Nero. TMI TMI!!

  9. MrHumble says: Oct 27, 2009 1:57 PM

    Florio….why hasn’t the media or yourself taken note of the weaknesses of J. Gruden on MNF? His protrayed “enthusiasim” doesn’t even come close to sounding sincere as he constantly sounds like he is about to have an on air orgasm. Secondly and perhaps most important is how he can only speak in “definites”, regardless of what game he is doing it is always, “no one can do it better than so and so”, “that’s a play that no one else in the nfl could do”, “that’s why he is the best at what he does”, “he is simply the best at his position” etc. etc. and then the following Monday nite game will make the same statements about particular players on the field….playing the same position. What’s wrong with saying someone is “one of the top players at his position” etc……but with Gruden it is always the same crap. How about starting a campaign to bring this to Bristol’s attention like you do with Emmitt and others? I like Gruden’s voice but his phoney enthusiasim and constant definites makes for almost impossible listening.

  10. Levito says: Oct 27, 2009 2:00 PM

    Kornheiser’s remark wasn’t racist, it was just pretty much a comment about how he couldn’t understand the Spanish. Tasteless? Perhaps. But it’s typical Kornheiser style.
    And as for Griese, yea, it may have been a bit off color, but definitely not worth this sort of reaction. If he had said he was out eating a Tamale, would that have been acceptable?

  11. DC_Bengals_Fan says: Oct 27, 2009 2:00 PM

    @Occam
    “This is why I love being Irish. No one ever stereotypes us.”
    I’ll drink to that!
    –Fellow descendant of Irish heritage

  12. Watson11101 says: Oct 27, 2009 2:01 PM

    How bout taco’s everyone..lololo

  13. bucco bruce says: Oct 27, 2009 2:07 PM

    This gives Greise some free time to start chilling the champagne for when the Broncos, Colts and Saints finally lose this season. Oh, thats right, a team already went unbeaten for the regular season. Never mind, carry on.

  14. Zox says: Oct 27, 2009 2:13 PM

    @Occam
    That was funny.

  15. sloopy32 says: Oct 27, 2009 2:16 PM

    “And the irony is that the connection between Sanchez and a taco is more clear, given that both are Mexican.”
    Ummm, Mark Sanchez is American, not Mexican. Yes, his family heritage is Mexican. However, Mark grew up in Southern California and is as much an American citizen as you or me.
    The irony is that an article about cultural sensitivity includes a blatant disregard of an NFL player’s American citizenship presumably just because he has a Hispanic last name.

  16. Bob Nelson says: Oct 27, 2009 2:20 PM

    That is even more confusing than the taco remarkand the suspension!!
    Why suspend the guy??
    Because he remembered a driver who was not pictured?
    How can a remark about having a taco for lunch be a bad thing?
    What will Taco Bill think??!!
    How can a taco, a pizza, an egg roll, bratwurst, a crepe, an empanada, sushi or any kind of food be worth a one week suspension?!
    Nobody can be so silly as to think up this goofy stuff and invent being offended.
    What if Bob had said he was doing something else like brushing his teeth, would somebody be so dumb as to think he was implying that everyone from a certain area did not brush their teeth?
    If he said the guy was not in the picture because he was gone for a smoke would the anti-tobacco people be offended.
    He was trying to be inclusive by mentioning a guy not shown.
    I hope Mr. Griese is seen this week eating greasy tacos everyday so ESPN does not lose a sponsor in Taco Bell.
    Rush Limbaugh is observes that the Left Wing Kook nutjobs have no sense of humor. He is right.
    Now broadcasts will get as bland as a rice ball because you cannot spice one up with a taco.

  17. McLovin says: Oct 27, 2009 2:20 PM

    I wonder if he would have been suspended if he said that Australian driver Marcos Ambrose was eating a hamburger…

  18. Stradivarius says: Oct 27, 2009 2:28 PM

    Great, now all I can think about are tacos…

  19. Deb says: Oct 27, 2009 2:31 PM

    @MrHumble … Chuckie is driving me nuts with his absolutes–“on air orgasm” is a perfect description. He’s still an improvement over Kornheiser, but can someone just call Paul McGuire?
    @sloopy32 … Bravo.
    @bucco bruce … That champagne must have tasted especially sweet at the end of Super Bowl XLII.

  20. Asswipe Johnson (Pronounced Az-Wee-Pay) says: Oct 27, 2009 2:31 PM

    Griese should have said Montoya was “out having a pink taco”… then again that might have put him in the Larry Johnson category of offending the gay community.

  21. HJC says: Oct 27, 2009 2:33 PM

    I think the 1 week suspension was absolutely appropriate. Firing him would be overkill and doing nothing would be what I would expect a predominantly white and insensitive nation to do.

  22. twindaddy says: Oct 27, 2009 2:35 PM

    Why don’t we all get over who said what? These two guys were just making a joke about harmless things and this is the kind of stuff that happens?
    The same thing is going on with LJ. Who cares what he said? People say stupid stuff all the time, especially when they’re mad. Words are just that, words. They don’t hurt people.
    This country needs to get over itself and quit trying to tell people what they can and can’t say. It’s impossible any more to say something that doesn’t offend someone.
    To paraphrase the Joker: “This country needs an enema!!!”

  23. outdoorzen says: Oct 27, 2009 2:38 PM

    ” as confusing as the suggestion that someone speaking Spanish would be telling someone else to pick up his dry cleaning.”
    Why would a spanish speaking person not need their laundry picked up?

  24. birdmancometh says: Oct 27, 2009 2:48 PM

    Right sloopy. How about if I tell you that this particular taco was made in California making it American?
    Pretty sure he meant Mexican descent.

  25. realityonetwo says: Oct 27, 2009 2:49 PM

    That’s what ESPN gets for forcing every blessed announcer to say something about NASCAR…

  26. Nevisyakker says: Oct 27, 2009 2:50 PM

    One of the joys of being a part of the “melting pot” that is America is that you can’t say anything without offending someone.
    But tell me, how can the NFL keep a straight face penalizing anyone for racial, gender, or sexual sterotype insensitivity when they allow a team called the “Redskins?” I mean really, colleges all over the country have been required to dump names that slur native Americans, and the North Dakota “Fighting Sioux” are waiting right now for a tribal ruling as to whether or not they can keep that traditaional, and far less offensive, nick name.

  27. bigbillnocmd says: Oct 27, 2009 2:54 PM

    So.. Sanchez was eating a hot dog. Does that make him gay? lol

  28. RaiderChile says: Oct 27, 2009 2:57 PM

    sloopy32: Are really that stupid?
    If an African Elephant is born in the Bronx zoo, is that a New York elephant?
    STUPID CRACKER! California and Texas IS Mexico.
    I never thought Stupid-ville existed until you put that garbage up there. And black guys aren’t from Africa either. Blacks ARE African bye the way.
    @Occam
    “This is why I love being Irish. No one ever stereotypes us.”
    Irish are the guys who, get drunk, beat their women, start fights and don’t go to school. Didn’t you see Good Will Hunting? Stereo type anyone! Pathetic CRACKERS!

  29. HoosierFin says: Oct 27, 2009 2:59 PM

    “This gives Greise some free time to start chilling the champagne for when the Broncos, Colts and Saints finally lose this season. Oh, thats right, a team already went unbeaten for the regular season. Never mind, carry on.”
    But this “team” was not able to complete the deal by winning the one that counts the most. I could tolerate the Broncos, Colts or Saints having an undefeated season including a Super Bowl victory but not the Pats.

  30. DocBG says: Oct 27, 2009 2:59 PM

    maybe instead of ESPN trying to drum up some racially hurt feelings they should have just let it slide. IF you wanted the guy to apologize because it was a bad remark, why not just let it end at that. Now the damn remark has been replayed over and over and reported on by countless website (PFT has had what, 5 posts about it?) thereby just inflaming the situation EVEN more… let it go allready, how about someone asks the driver what he thinks about it. the guy probably doesnt even care.
    Would it have been better if he said he was probably out grabbing a burger somewhere? would that have been offensive? if its not, then you people need to drop your blinders and realize that there are probably more tacos consumed by americans then there are by mexicans, and certainly more than are consumed by colombians. This pollitical correctness is insane and needs to end now.
    btw isn’t ESPN owned by disney? disney is one of the most racist companies to EVER exsist. http://www.cracked.com/article_15833_9-most-racist-disney-characters.html

  31. tj.52 says: Oct 27, 2009 3:09 PM

    Ay Caramba…
    Good decision making doesn’t seem to run in the Greise family.
    Maybe he was distracted by thoughts of the eiffel tower, being rude to strangers and not showering for a week.

  32. iusedtobeteddybayer says: Oct 27, 2009 3:15 PM

    MrHumble says:
    “protrayed”? Are you sirius? Dbag. Buy a real dictionary.

  33. Lombardi 6 says: Oct 27, 2009 3:19 PM

    Should have been suspended for talking about NASCAR during a football game..Travesty!!!

  34. Deadskinsfan says: Oct 27, 2009 3:21 PM

    “This country needs to get over itself and quit trying to tell people what they can and can’t say.”
    Not quite. ESPN isn’t telling Griese what he can and can’t say (he already said it, and time travel is impossible). They are telling him he can’t say just anything that pops into his head and expect there to be no consequences. That’s the same standard, in principle, applied to almost everyone in the workplace.
    Say what you wish, sure. That’s your First Amendment right (with limited exception, such as the proverbial yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre). It’s also the right of your employer to censure you for exercising poor judgment along with free speech.
    And if you don’t like it, you’re free to seek employment elsewhere.

  35. mr_snrub says: Oct 27, 2009 3:34 PM

    I don’t like Kornheiser, but I’m pretty sure he was referring to his poor knowledge of the language and or inability to learn it. I certainly can relate.

  36. texasPHINSfan says: Oct 27, 2009 3:38 PM

    ESPN overreacts here.
    while it can be mildly racist, it’s not even a correct stereotype, so how can this be offensive? if montoya was mexican, yeah, you could say that.
    Griese came on and apologized twice on his own accord right after. let it go, people, it’s not *that* big of a deal.

  37. Deb says: Oct 27, 2009 3:40 PM

    @twindaddy …
    No one is telling people what they can and can’t say on their own time. But this is what Griese said while representing his employers as a game announcer. So yeah, they get to tell him what he can and can’t say on their dime. I once had a boss tell me in the middle of an argument that if I opened my mouth once more I was going straight to HR. Now I can be a fiery gal when my dander’s up, but at that moment I needed my job. So I grit my teeth together and gave him a smile that dripped venom. But I didn’t say another word. Griese’s got the same choice. He can mouth off or take his one-week suspension and keep his big contract.
    Instead of everyone railing about how thin-skinned people are and how we all ought to be able to use ethnic slurs like the good ol’ days, why don’t we just treat people like we want to be treated? (Gee, there’s an idea.) When asked why Montoya wasn’t in the top 5, Bob could have just said: “I don’t know. He’s a great driver.” If it had been Jimmie Johnson, do you think he would have said, “Duh, he’s out having a hot dog”? Not a chance.

  38. Patrian says: Oct 27, 2009 3:46 PM

    Can somone tell Florio that to be a Mexican, you must be born in MEXICO…

  39. Patrian says: Oct 27, 2009 3:48 PM

    ” as confusing as the suggestion that someone speaking Spanish would be telling someone else to pick up his dry cleaning.”
    Why would a spanish speaking person not need their laundry picked up?
    ———————————————
    Florio is suggesting that somone speaking Spanish would not be of means enough to have other people picking up their dry cleaning…

  40. sloopy32 says: Oct 27, 2009 3:49 PM

    “Pretty sure he meant Mexican descent.”
    Perhaps he did but it was not even close to being worded that way. It’s not unreasonable to expect better wording from a “professional” writer. There is a tendency, whether conscious or subconscious, not to recognize citizens from certain ethnic groups (i.e.- non-white) as American but instead just to see and refer to them as “Mexican” or “Somali” or whatever. I can only speak for myself but I would not want to be referred to as German even though I have a German name and have predominantly German descent. Above all, I was born in America and prefer to be referred to as American.
    That said, I do think the Griese suspension was a little over the top. The apologies seemed sufficient. I think ESPN, in the wake of the Steve Phillips scandal, is trying too hard to project a clean, tough image.

  41. PFTiswhatitis says: Oct 27, 2009 3:49 PM

    “Your comment submission failed for the following reasons: Registration is required. says:
    October 27, 2009 1:40 PM ”
    NICE!

  42. margra says: Oct 27, 2009 4:05 PM

    “Now, if you’ll excuse me for a moment, I need to eat a plate of pasta, dance on some grapes, and then “whack” someone.”
    HA!
    One of your better sarcastic comments.

  43. dzil says: Oct 27, 2009 4:27 PM

    what Greise should have said is “Juan Pablo is with Mark Sanchez, drying each others backs”.

  44. Adam-Chris Scheftersen says: Oct 27, 2009 4:28 PM

    Obviously, Juan Pablo Montoya was NOT out having a taco.
    It was a chalupa.

  45. 8man says: Oct 27, 2009 4:29 PM

    Just because I’m a wop and a bigot doesn’t mean I don’t understand the sensitivity of this issue.
    Okay. I didn’t see anything wrong with what Griese said. It wasn’t like he threw out a, “Look at that little beaner drive!”
    Taco Bell anyone?

  46. Bigskyvikes says: Oct 27, 2009 4:40 PM

    @ Bob Nelson
    That was well written above. I cant beleive I said that about you, but we share the same views.
    You would be a good guy if I could only get you to see the light, and love the VIKINGS:)
    Seriously that was great to read.

  47. florio's_mom says: Oct 27, 2009 4:47 PM

    Mr. Humble,
    I’m not the only one! When the Chargers and Bronocos played, all chuckie could say is how good Philip Rivers is. blah blah blah. He jumped off their band wagon with 5 mins left in the game.

  48. PervyHarvin says: Oct 27, 2009 4:55 PM

    @ RaiderChile –
    Dufus- Even a fish has a brain big enough to realize that Occam was being sarcastic!!
    As an Irishman I find that “Pathetic Crackers” reference comical at best. God forbid a white man says the “N” word. Yep,we drink. Grow potatoes. Used to be a pro boxer too. Irish all the way. Want some of this “great white hype?”
    Tone it down tool.

  49. the real deal says: Oct 27, 2009 4:58 PM

    THIS is absolutely STUPID!!!!
    Why is it racist to say a foreign man is eating his ethnic food??
    Is it racist to say a white is out eating a burger and fries?
    Because that is all this is saying…
    Double standard american crap crying racism on everything…

  50. VoxVeritas says: Oct 27, 2009 5:13 PM

    He should have said that Montoya was out having an enchurrito.

  51. VoxVeritas says: Oct 27, 2009 5:14 PM

    or some barbacoa. or chicharrones. or pan de polvo.

  52. Deb says: Oct 27, 2009 5:22 PM

    @the real deal …
    It wasn’t his ethnic food. All Latin men aren’t Mexicans.

  53. sloopy32 says: Oct 27, 2009 5:37 PM

    “Can somone tell Florio that to be a Mexican, you must be born in MEXICO…”
    Good point.

  54. 8man says: Oct 27, 2009 7:09 PM

    Deb says:
    October 27, 2009 5:22 PM
    @the real deal …
    It wasn’t his ethnic food. All Latin men aren’t Mexicans.
    Ya know, she’s right. And not all hispanics are wetbacks. Some are spics. It seems to me that if we are going to be using pejorative racial slurs, we should be sure we are using them correctly.
    Montoya was born in Bogota, Columbia which is 58% Mestizo. Now the proper slur for a Mestizo is a beaner. As someone mentioned, Griese probably should have used the term burrito.
    Boys, we’re gonna have to take it up a notch.
    Sincerely,
    the angry, greasy goombah!

  55. VoxVeritas says: Oct 27, 2009 7:21 PM

    “Florio is suggesting that somone speaking Spanish would not be of means enough to have other people picking up their dry cleaning…”
    I’m starting to understand why Florio hates Antonio Ramiro Romo so much.

  56. the real deal says: Oct 27, 2009 8:57 PM

    well if he ain’t even mexican, why can’t the guy be at a mexican restaurant?
    what on earth is going on here? why is Griese suspended for this? honestly…….
    ESPN is officially out of the closet and gay! would they like some cheese with their wine?
    p.s. I am going to taco bell and will miss some posts….(oops was that a racist thing to say, cuz i honestly wanna taco)

  57. sebuc40 says: Oct 27, 2009 9:05 PM

    C,mon MrHumble everyone knows you’re really Steve Duemig! Is this really even America anymore? Yes, what Griese said might have been a little insensitve but WTF! Have we become so PC and intolerant that we can no longer take a joke? I’ve had it! To borrow a phrase from our wonderful First Lady “For the first time in my adult life Iam ashamed of my country.”
    Sincerely,
    Angry, Racist, Gun & Bible clinging white man

  58. sandy70 says: Oct 27, 2009 9:15 PM

    Deb says:
    October 27, 2009 5:22 PM
    @the real deal …
    It wasn’t his ethnic food. All Latin men aren’t Mexicans.
    ———————————————
    It “wasn’t” his ethnic food? You mean it is now? Be careful, or the thought police will get you and your racist kin….
    See how easy it is to have something taken out of context?
    We should all be permitted to step up and take our own swings at the pinata when such farcical overreactions take place. Oops…sorry…wrong ethnicity again.
    I think I’ll just hide from the much wiser, more enlightened and morally superior among us before I’m branded a racist by my unwitting insensitivity…………….

  59. JollyOldMan says: Oct 27, 2009 10:35 PM

    @Florio –
    “…and then “whack” someone.”
    If you keep doing that, you’ll go blind.

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