ESPN announcer Brent Musbuger is being criticized for "inappropriate" comments made about the Alabama quarterback's girlfriend made during Monday's BCS championship football game. His commentary included saying Katherine Webb was a "lovely lady" and "beautiful."
Twenty-three-year-old Webb is the girlfriend of Alabama quarterback A J McCarron, and is a former Miss Alabama. She was sitting by McCarron's parents in the stands, and was shown repeatedly by ESPN during Alabama's game against Notre Dame.
The gushing by Musburger made some uncomfortable: "You quarterbacks get all the good-looking women," he said to his co-announcer, Kirk Herbstreit, who was a quarterback at Ohio State. "A J's doing some things right," Herbstreit replied. Musburger then said, "If you're a youngster in Alabama, start getting the football out and throw it around the backyard with Pop." ESPN senior production staff eventually told Musbuger through his earpiece to "move on."
Comments about Webb by the 73 year old have been called "generational," but some still find such a focus on a beautiful woman in the stands rather than the football game retrograde.
"I think because sports has been such a male-dominated domain, he obviously felt license and privilege and he's been able to do that for years," said Sue Carter, a journalism professor at Michigan State. "But the masculine aspect of sports is changing."
ESPN issued an apology on behalf of the network for Musburger's comments about Webb:
We always try to capture interesting story lines and the relationship between an Auburn grad who is Miss Alabama and the current Alabama quarterback certainly met that test … we apologize that the commentary in this instance went too far and Brent understands that.
Webb herself didn't seem to mind Musburger's attention, and said "it was kind of nice:"
I didn't look at it as creepy at all. For a woman to be called beautiful, I don't see how that's an issue.
What do you think? Were Brent Musburger's comments during the BCS championship game inappropriate? Take the poll and comment below.
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