Friday, 6 December 2019

Analyst Tim Ryan Suspended For Comment About Ravens QB’s ‘Dark Skin’; Richard Sherman Comes To Ryan’s Defense

Earlier this week, sports analyst Tim Ryan was suspended for saying Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s “dark skin with a dark football” helps his fake handoffs.
“He’s really good at that fake, Lamar Jackson, but when you consider his dark skin with a dark football with a dark uniform, you could not see that thing,” Ryan commented on a radio program, according to NBC Sports. “I mean you literally could not see when he was in and out of the mesh point and if you’re a half step slow on him in terms of your vision forget about it, he’s out of the gate.”
But not everyone was offended, since it was rather clear that Ryan never meant to racially degrade Jackson.
On Thursday, for example, San Francisco 49ers player Richard Sherman, who knows Ryan personally, stuck up for the analyst.
“I know Tim personally and I listened to the dialogue and saw it written, and honestly I wasn’t as outraged as everybody else,” Sherman said, as NBC Sports reported. “I understand how it can be taken under a certain context and be offensive to some, but if you’re saying, this is a brown ball, they’re wearing dark colors, and he has a brown arm, honestly, sometimes we were having trouble seeing it on film. He’s making a play fake and sometimes he’s swinging his arm real fast and you’re like, Does he have the ball? And you look up and [Mark] Ingram is running it. So it was technically a valid point, but you can always phrase things better.”
“It 100 percent is an issue,” the cornerback noted. “That’s why it wasn’t that offensive, because what he was saying was a great point. … He could have used better words, but it was made bigger than it really was.” 
Sherman-teammate Dee Ford, a 49ers defensive end, also defended Ryan, detailing a conversation he had with the analyst post-suspension.
“I told him, ‘I got your back,’” Ford said of Ryan, NBC Sports reported. “The words kind of got taken out of context. I think he knows now he could have used better judgment with his words, but we’ve got his back. I knew what he was trying to say. This era we live in, it’s just what it is.”
As for Ryan, the broadcaster apologized for any offense he might have caused and praised Jackson as “an MVP-caliber player.”
“I regret my choice of words in trying to describe the conditions of the game,” he said in a statement. “Lamar Jackson is an MVP-caliber player and I respect him greatly. I want to sincerely apologize to him and anyone else I offended.”
The 49ers denounced Ryan’s remarks in a statement, but noted that the broadcaster is “a man of high integrity.”

“We hold Tim to a high standard as a representative of our organization and he must be more thoughtful with his words. Tim has expressed remorse in a public statement and has also done so with us privately,” the team told the San Francisco Chronicle. “We know Tim as a man of high integrity and are confident he will grow and learn from this experience.”

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