On Saturday night, following the Oklahoma Sooners’ surprise loss to the Texas Tech Red Raiders, ESPN News anchor Todd Grisham remarked that “it’s a trail of tears in Oklahoma—the Sooners go down in flames.”
On his Twitter page, Grisham wrote, “Sincerely didn’t mean any harm with that comment after OU loss.I saw a shot of fans crying, historical reference didn’t even cross my mind,” then added, “My Great Grandmother was a full blooded Cherokee. I am very proud of my Native-American roots.”
Reacting to the apology, the site FITSNews.com posted an article titled “ESPN’s PC Addiction Strikes Again,” which mused “Obviously, [the Trail of Tears is] not the nation’s happiest moment … but neither is the Civil War, and how many times do we hear that term applied to sporting match-ups?”
Commenters didn’t necessarily agree.
“The Civil War and the Trail of Tears of not comparable events. One involved men voluntarily killing each other, the other was an armed occupation and forced relocation based on racism,” wrote one. Another said, “Imagine if he compared an Atlanta Hawks loss to a mass lynching… Could you imagine the uproar? The dude should be fired.”