Politically Correct Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Iran – by Lloyd Billingsley


HADDADI

Political correctness, common in government and media, has invaded the precincts of the professional sport where ethnicity has meant the least. Los Angeles Clippers announcers Ralph Lawler and Michael Smith were suspended for comments about Hamed Haddadi, the first Iranian to play in the National Basketball Association.

Haddadi plays for the Memphis Grizzlies and during a November 18 game between the Grizzlies and Clippers, this exchange occurred:

Lawler: “There aren’t any Iranian players in the NBA?”

Smith: “He’s the only one.”

Lawler: “He’s from Iran?”

Smith: “I guess so.”

Lawler: “That Iran?”

Smith: “Yes.”

Lawler: “The real Iran?”

Smith: “Yes.”

Lawler: “Wow. Haddadi — that’s H-A-D-D-A-D-I.”

Smith: “You’re sure it’s not Borat’s older brother? If they ever make a movie about Haddadi, I’m going to get Sacha Baron Cohen to play the part.”

Lawler: “Here’s Haddadi. Nice little back-door pass. I guess those Iranians can pass the ball.”

Smith: “Especially the post players.”

Lawler: “I don’t know about their guards.”

Cohen, it might be recalled, starred in Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, but that wasn’t the only problem. The announcers pronounced Iran “Eye-Ran,” and Iranian “Eye-ranian,” which rankled season-ticket holder Arya Towfighi, the vice president and assistant general counsel for Univision Communications Inc., the nation’s leading Spanish language media company. Towfighi, of Iranian background, told the Los Angeles Times that his goal was to “highlight the issue that a lot of folks who wouldn’t consider saying such things about African Americans or Hispanics but because this was an Iranian player, it just flowed more easily.”

Towfighi’s complaint was the only one received by Prime Ticket, which televised the game. Lawler and Smith were apologetic but drew a one-game suspension anyway. It was the first broadcast Lawler had missed in 25 years. Hamed Haddadi, who stands seven feet two inches, had no comment but Jonathan Arianeei, born in Iran, decided to weigh in with the Los Angeles Times.

“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.”

John McMullen, NBA editor of The Sports Network, provided a sensible observation on the Iranian affair. “I’m not a big fan of political correctness, the all-encompassing term that virtually regulates peoples thoughts and behaviors on gender, racial, cultural and sexual orientation matters. It’s always been my thesis that political correctness has no place in a free society aiming to reach a higher cultural plane where people actually accept each others’ differences. . . . As usual, when the political correctness crowd is involved, nothing gets accomplished.”

That wasn’t exactly the case. On November 29 the Clippers hosted Memphis and promoted Haddadi’s appearance with “Iranian Heritage Day.”

Political correctness, meanwhile, is particularly out of place in a league where every player is there because of ability, not ethnicity. The Sacramento Kings roster includes Omri Casspi, the first Israeli to play in the NBA. Kings announcers have made no on-air gaffes about Casspi, and the team has not promoted “Israel Heritage Day.”  Kings broadcaster Jerry Reynolds does call American player John Brockman the “Brock Ness Monster,” but that has occasioned no fan complaints or suspensions.

  • Proxywar

    What did Jonathan Arianeei do? He came off as a screw-political-correctness American to me. Not all Arabs are evil.

  • USMCSniper

    Jonathan Arianeei the Arab curse be upon you. May the fleas from a thousand camels find a permanent home in your crotch.

  • Robert Bernier

    The result of non violence advocates and extreme left militants : Hitler -1930 and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – 2009.
    By any reasonable standard, self-styled peace activists might be expected to condemn leaders who support terrorism and who unashamedly seek the destruction of other nations. But just as advocates of non-violence found a way to accommodate the genocidal designs of Adolph Hitler, so they have been willing to make peace with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. And just as Gandhi never expressed remorse for his “dear friend” letters to Hitler, its unlikely that these supposed believers in non-violence will blame Iran. More about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threat to Israel at : http://israelagainstterror.blogspot.com/2008/09

  • Sashland

    eye-ran, ear-ran

    tomato, tomato,

    potato, potato

    let's call the whole thing off…

  • LugNut

    Just for your info, Iranians are NOT Arabs. They are Persians, speak Farsi; and are usually Shiites. Liken it to the difference between the English and the French.

  • truthywood

    Search google images with this text “Church Masque” , There is not a single Christian majority country in world where both Masque and Churches are side by side, You will find hundreds of photos from Muslim majority countries where Churches and Masques are side by side. So that means when Christian are majority they don't allow masque near their Churches. but tolerant Muslims do.

    White Christianity is totalitarian ideology, They don't tolerate any body who does not look like them , talk like them or walk like them. Red Indians were first victims of this intolerant cult, than blacks, than people in their Colonies, than Jews (WW2), Now Muslims are new target of this cult.

  • Goetz

    To my American-English ear, “eye-ran” is the preferred pronunciation of Iran. “Ear-ran” sounds Euro-imitative, or worse, an orientalism.

  • babsst

    I just google “church masque” and I'm not sure what I am looking for. Please put a link so that I can check out what you are saying about Christian do not allow masque near their churches….but tolerant Muslims do? I guess you read Heritage so you can spew your hate…and you have the gall to call White Christianity totalitarian. And by the way, there is no “White Christianity” And PLEASE, do not put Hitler in the same category with Christians. He wasn't and it's only people like you who do to speak evil about Christians. Not sure WHY you're on this website but I feel sorry for you.

  • waynehunnicutt

    TO THE DHIMMI WANNABES AND THE REST OF YOU KIFIRS OUT THERE, ANY MUSLIM WHO WANTS TO SEE SHARIA LAW IMPOSED IN THIS COUNTRY IS YOUR ENEMY.
    UNDERSTAND YOUR OPTIONS UNDER SHIRIA, YOU WILL CONVERT, PAY THE JIZYA OR DIE. PERIOD.PC WILL KILL 4 OR 5 MILLION BEFORE THE WAKEUP CALL IS HEARD. GOOD LUCK. GO HAWKS!!!!

  • Ara

    Goetz,
    In that case you should also pronounce Italy, eye-tally …