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Iowa broadcaster suspended for comparing dominant black player to ‘King Kong’

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

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In hypersensitive post-Obama America, where political correctness rules the day, one had better pick their words very carefully. Especially when race can be pointed to as a factor.

An Iowa basketball play-by-play announcer has been suspended for referring to a black player as “King Kong,” a choice of words used to describe the player coming up big in an important game.

Gary Dolphin, who calls football and men’s basketball for the University of Iowa, was disciplined for saying Bruno Fernando, a bruising 6-foot-10, 240-pound forward for the University of Maryland, “was King Kong at the end of the game.”

Fernando had a good night, to include the winning basket with just 7.8 seconds left in the game Tuesday night, as Maryland defeated Iowa 66-65.

But Dolphin’s choice of metaphors prompted Hawkeye Sports Properties, the multimedia rights manager for Iowa Athletics, to announce on Friday that he had been suspended for the rest of the season.

The broadcaster apologized in a statement released through Learfield Sports, taking full responsibility for his words and stressing that he was not disparaging Fernando.

“During the broadcast, I used a comparison when trying to describe a talented Maryland basketball player,” Dolphin said in the statement. “In no way did I intend to offend or disparage the player. I take full responsibility for my inappropriate word choice and offer a sincere apology to him and anyone else who was offended.”

“I wish the Iowa Hawkeye players, coaches and fans all the very best as they head into the final stretch of the season. I will use this as an opportunity to grow as a person and learn more about unconscious bias,” he added.

Saying it “values diversity and is committed to creating a welcoming environment for all members of its campus community,” the school’s athletic department released a statement supporting the suspension.

Dolphin was suspended earlier this season when his criticism of an Iowa player was picked up on an open microphone, Fox News reported.

In a win over the University of Pittsburgh, Dolphin said of Iowa guard Maishe Dailey during a supposed commercial break, “We get Maishe Dailey. Dribbles into a double-team with his head down. God.”

He was suspended for two games over the November incident.

One thing is certain, social media was not on board with the punishment meted out.

Here’s a sampling of responses from Twitter:


Tom Tillison


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