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Letters: Are Clippers' announcers offensive or naive?

Maybe Ralph Lawler and Mike Smith should have known better, or maybe Fox was too sensitive.

November 28, 2009
  • Broadcasters Ralph Lawler, left, and Mike Smith do a pregame segment before a Clippers-Grizzlies game.
Broadcasters Ralph Lawler, left, and Mike Smith do a pregame segment before… (Joe Murphy / NBAE / Getty…)

To read that Clippers announcer Michael Smith babbled out some on-air, racist-sounding inanities, apparently intended to be humorous, is one thing. To find out that Ralph Lawler, a Hall of Fame-quality broadcaster, went along for the ride is, however, surprising. They both ended up sounding like a couple of dumb yokels just off the bus in the big city. But from Lawler we expect more. He should have had the presence of mind to stop the chatter as soon as he sensed its offensive nature. After all, Los Angeles is a cosmopolitan city, not some backwoods burg where ignorance passes for comedy.

Thomas Bailey, Long Beach

I am an Iranian-born American and I've been lucky enough to meet Ralph Lawler and Mike Smith a few times. Not only have they both been courteous and professional each time I've encountered them, before a game a couple of seasons ago Ralph surprised my then 5-year-old son with a program and media guide as I took their picture together.

I listened to Lawler's and Smith's broadcast that apparently offended Arya Towfighi so much. I thought it was funny and heard nothing offensive. In fact, it reminded me of Chick Hearn's sense of humor during his Lakers days. But speaking of offensive dialogue -- Mr. Towfighi might want to listen to some of the stuff I've heard on his Univision outlets.

Jonathan Arianeei



The only reason I've been able to watch Clippers games for the last 12 years is Ralph Lawler and Michael Smith. One person complains and I have to listen to Michael Eaves and Don MacLean for two hours. How did that make the world a better place?

Steve Yohe



Fox quickly suspends two sportscasters after one Iranian viewer complains their casual, unscripted remarks are derogatory. Yet Fox incessantly features and promotes their "news" personnel attacking and ridiculing President Obama as hating whites, being a communist, immoral, a non-citizen, a liar, etc. The word "hypocritical" is too good for these immoral purveyors of hate and misinformation.

John Holmstrom



You don't see Latino people complaining every time someone in the media pronounces "Los Angeles" wrong. My mom always taught me, "You choose to be offended!"

Alizabeth Arciniaga

Los Angeles


As a longtime Clippers fan, I have the following advice for season-ticket holder Mr. Towfighi: If he wants to avoid hearing and/or seeing things that will shock, upset, offend, dismay, insult him and yes, even frighten his 8-year-old son, he should find another team to follow.

Ian Kimbrey



Memo to Fox Sports: Please suspend Baron Davis for that horrible beard.

Jim Moorman


Angels' changes

I read your article this morning that Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler will no longer be the announcers for the Angels. We are outraged to say the least.

We want the fire and ice team. They are a perfect pair, balancing each other out. We have always looked forward to hearing Hudler's enthusiasm. With all due respect, Mark Gubicza can be downright boring.

Tell Arte Moreno and the Angels they have destroyed a major asset to the team.

Paul & Andrea Goodwin

Palm Desert


I have absolutely nothing bad to say about Rory Markas.

I have utter contempt for the Fox executives who fired Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler.

I know today's letters won't bring them back, and that's a shame. I want to publicly thank them for their professionalism, unbridled enthusiasm, and insight.

In the end, Phys and Hud will be in baseball much longer than these fumbling Fox "executives."

Jeff Prescott

La Jolla

Can't complain

Hopefully the head of USC ticketing has written down every name of the authors who penned the bush-league anti-USC/Pete Carroll letters published last week. USC should either cancel their season tickets or send them UCLA season tickets next year so they can fully understand frustration watching Plaschke's team that "owns L.A. college football."

Stephen Bell

Manhattan Beach


I was there when we'd have 40,000 fans at the home games. I was there when we suffered 11 straight losses to the Golden Domers and eight to UCLA. I patiently watched the second coming of John Robinson. I was at Freedom Bowl I (a win) and Freedom Bowl II (the horrific Larry Smith loss to Fresno State). Mazio Royster was my hero back then -- tells you the state of the program.

After all that, how can anyone criticize Pete Carroll for this year's performance? Nine starters on defense gone. Offensive and defensive coordinators gone. Starting quarterback gone. The tribute to Pete was that USC was ranked so high and beat Ohio State, Notre Dame, Cal and Oregon State.

We're in the era of constant gratification, but Pete has earned a pass.

Rick Dorion



Holy cow! The last time I saw this kind of anger and hatred was at the town hall meetings in August. C'mon folks, lighten up, it's just one game in a rare disappointing season. Are we that spoiled? Have you forgotten what the program was like before Carroll? I haven't.

Leo Depoian

Newport Coast

Why be nice now?

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