[media-credit name=”David Yeazell” align=”alignright” width=”199″][/media-credit]A San Diego-California television sports anchor recently found himself in the embarrassing position of having to make an on air apology to NASCAR driver Danica Patrick for inferring that she’s a b***h. Ross Shimabuku never actually said the “B” word on live television but there was no question in any one’s mind, including station management, what he meant.
The sports anchor, from KSWB-Channel 5 a Fox Network affiliate, was doing a live story regarding Danica Patrick’s official NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut in the Daytona 500. He started the story by saying: “all right, Danica Patrick is such a pretty girl. She makes a lot of money in sponsorships because of it. But what’s not attractive is that she’s sexy and she knows it.”
At this point a sound on tape video overlay came on the screen featuring Patrick from the NASCAR media day held back on February 16th. On the bottom of the screen was a chyron that read: “Danica Patrick, I’m sexy and I know it.” From that clip, Patrick said: “I don’t quite understand why, when you’re referring to a girl-a female athlete, in particular-that you have to use the word sexy. Is there any other word you can use to describe me?”
At the conclusion of the clip, Shimabuku came back on the television screen and said: “oh I’ve got a few words, starts with a “B”, and it’s not beautiful. She always has a chip on her shoulder, trying to prove something.”
KSWB news anchorwoman Kathleen Bade was also on the set and, perhaps in an effort to difuse the situation, said: “well, she’s a woman trying to break in a man’s world, that can’t be easy.”
KSWB news anchorman Loren Nancarrow weighed in on the issues and said: “if she’s trying to lose the sexy image, the Go Daddy commercials don’t exactly further that cause.” Shimabuku responded with: “what she says and what she does are two totally different things.”
Faster than you can say “Danica at Daytona,” the clip of Shimabuku’s comments hit the social networks in a very big way. The sports anchor’s comments also made several Internet sites led by Sportsrantz.Com who went on record as saying that Shimabuku crossed the line.
The public outcry didn’t take very long to land on the desks of KSWB’s management. This included the receipt of a petition presented to KSWB management by The Women’s Media Center who called for an official reprimand against Shimabuku.
Approximately 24 hours later, Shimabuku was back on the air to deliver the obligatory apology. In a very brief statement, he said: “I truly apologize if I offended anyone by those comments. They were not meant to be an attack on Danica.”
Unfortunately, the sports anchor had a rather smug expression on his face and his apology had all the sincerity and believability of a prominent politician conducting a press conference to apologize for accidentally crawling in the wrong bed with the wrong person. It’s fairly safe to assume that KSWB management forced Shimabuku to make that apology.
Here in southern California, most local television sports anchors appear to be extremely clueless when it comes to reporting on any form of motorsports. They are often the product of the stick and ball syndrome. In other words: if it doesn’t have a stick and ball then it can’t possibly be a legitimate sport. Judging from the video of Shimabuku’s Danica Patrick story, it appears that he easily fits in this category.
It’s not certain whether Danica Patrick is aware of this incident. If she is, then I’m willing to bet that she’s probably laughing at this guy for having to apologize for his arrogance.
I can assure you that I’m laughing at this San Diego stick and ball boy.