ESPN apologizes for playing “Dixie” during game

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Anyone who knows American history knows that the song “Dixie” has a long racist history, having originated with blackface performances and been embraced by the pro-slavery Confederacy during the Civil War. But that didn’t stop ESPN from playing the song during Saturday’s Colts-Texans game.

It started with what should have been a fun and lighthearted look at Colts quarterback Andrew Luck‘s Twitter alter ego, Captain Andrew Luck. An anonymous parody account, it tweets as if it were Luck writing letters home to his mother as an officer in the Civil War. It’s consistently funny, and ESPN wanted to include it in the Colts’ playoff game.

But ESPN says one production staffer decided to play “Dixie” during the segment about Capt. Luck, and that staffer didn’t run it by anyone else. ESPN declined to name the staffer or say whether he or she will face any discipline, but did tell Sporting News that the decision was regrettable.

It was a mistake to use this song. We regret having done so and we apologize,” ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said.

The whole thing was ill-conceived, with a graphic that showed Luck dressed as a Union general but being protected by two soldiers in Confederate uniforms. What could have been an amusing segment during the game fell flat.

31 responses to “ESPN apologizes for playing “Dixie” during game

  1. People have grown awfully thin skin in the last few years…..

    This was fun, lighthearted, and a part of EVERY Americans history.

  2. Fire everyone involved.. This insensitivity is what is wrong with America today.
    Think of the impact this has on the children.

  3. I see no problem with playing Dixie. i took no offense at all.
    Folks are way too sensitive these days.
    Besides ESPN/ABC did this, they KNEW they were going to do it and all they had to do was apologize later.
    Bad publicity is free publicity right?

  4. Dixie is associated with the south and the Civil War. To call this instance racist however is a heck of a reach. If you have found yourself offended over this, I’m sorry to say you’re way too sensitive.

  5. I’m so tired of this kind of reaction when it’s really not a big deal. Do people sit around and wait to be offended by something now days?


    It’s getting pretty tiring of people trying to erase all of the bad and questionable parts of our history! stuff happened so instead of trying to remove the bad history learn from it and move on. Majority of social media has turned into a wrecking ball on society, it started out as a great thing but now it allows people to say and do more stupid things then what happened in our history hundreds of years ago. I love FOOTBALL and I hate politics in sports but I cant stand this stuff anymore.

  7. Moving forward, all Americans should submit any random thoughts that might be uttered to the Thought Police. American History is being proscribed. Future generations will only have a current narrative to go by. Evidently the writings used to tell our story have been eschewed for a more sensitive set that have one agenda, to make European descendants the villain
    RIP Freedom of Speech.

  8. Why play Dixie when Captain Andrew Luck is a Union Officer? Confederates guarding a Union Officer!?!? Whomever put together that segment should have to go back to High School and take American History again.

    If they knew their history we wouldn’t be talking about this right now.

  9. When did we get so darn sensitive. If someone is watching that Capt Luck thing and hears Dixie and is offended by it has way too much time on their hands.

  10. ESPN apologized and they were correct for doing so. It has nothing to do with being “PC”, it has to do with basic human decency, common sense and sensitivity. It wasn’t a terrible crime, no one should lose their job because of it, but they were correct to address it.

  11. Last time I checked the south was defeated by the north, the Union won, the Confederacy defeated. Hell, even Abe Lincoln played Dixie when Lee surrendered. We won the war, captured the flag, and took the song for ourselves. No big deal.

  12. Some people just aren’t happy unless they find something to be offended about. I’m sure somebody, somewhere is offended by ESPN’s apology.

  13. I think oiffending people IS PART of what makes freedom of speech. In Russia if you say something offensive about Putin or his ideals – you literally could be killed. (yes really; happens ALL the time.) Also true in many of the worlds regressive countries. Its one thing to try to stop true “hate” speech – ie speech that literally incites people to KILL. Somehow that possibility has morphed intoi anything thats “not nice”…

    We need to KEEP offensive speech; its what makes America FREE. Once you start trying to “judge” every mean/hurtful statement, you create a VERY powerful trend that WILL eventually (slowly) convince next generations to think like communists. How..look at Russia economy. They ALL work to make Poyin one of the richest most powerful men in the world – while they can barely afford to have an economy that is no bigger than Kentucky’s…The average Russian cant have a home, or much else… But they dont DARE say something offensive to whatever Putins regime finds offensive.

    Im an old American.. and this above is truer than most realize

  14. “Dixie is associated with the south and the Civil War”


    If it’s associated with the South or the Civil War, people just assume it’s racist by the transitive property. Because several individual characteristics are racist, the entire thing is racist. Is it correct? Not entirely. Does it make people feel good? Certainly.

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