Words are the most powerful force on earth. They have the ability to incite fist fights, break up marriages, and start wars. They can heal wounds, lift spirits, and unite. They can also tear down the growth earned over generations of education.
According to ESPN.com, a Philadelphia radio show host named Tony Bruno called Giants reliever Ramon Ramirez an “illegal alien” in response to his pitch that hit the Phillies’ Shane Victorino. Bruno took to Twitter and said, “Bochy is a coward for having his illegal alien pitcher hit a guy.” The tweet went on, but Bruno quickly removed the post and apologized.
Unfortunately, the damage was done. The send button is permanent. No matter how quickly something is deleted, the information is out there and the knowledge of the comment lives on. In a professional capacity, there is no room for insults. In a sports media capacity there is no room for insults. In this country, there is no room for racism.
Bruno can down play the comment. He can hide behind excuses like “emotion” or “passion.” He can fend off the headhunters calling for his job. But he can’t go back and change his remark.
It’s rare that a public figure keep his or her job after a comment like that, but he might. It’s rare to continue on like nothing ever happened, but he might. Yet, no matter what happens, his words will be forever colored. They will be forever darkened and scrutinized.
Tony Bruno’s racist remark may not cost him his job, but hopefully it cost him the respect of his listeners.