Monday, September 14, 2009

Q: May I Say A Few Words in Spanish? A: No.

After a stunning 5-set win over tennis god Roger Federer on Monday, twenty-year old Juan Carlos del Potro dutifully answered questions from CBS Tennis lead announcer Dick Enberg. It was clear the young Argentine struggled with English, but still, he did his best.

But when del Potro asked for a moment to speak a few sentences in his native Spanish, how did Enberg react? "No, I'm afraid we don't have time," he deflected, nervously.

A few moments later, after yet another request to speak in Spanish, Enberg finally relented.

Does anyone else realize what kind of message this sends to the world?

Perhaps "Desperate, Fading Superpower?"

In a sport struggling to win fans in the United States, what is the value of disrespecting the language of a surging minority Hispanic population? Wouldn't you want to win Hispanic fans?

Why must American sports coverage constantly scrub away any semblance of diversity? Are we really so jingoistic as to deny a Spanish-speaking champion a moment or two to speak from his heart in his own language? Are we really that desperate to cut to an episode of "How I Met Your Mother?"

And how about Enberg's lustful check presentation? He positively purred out the amount of Del Potro's payday: one-million, eight-hundred thousand something or other. How crass is this? Is this our message to the rest of the world? Come to America, make some crazy money!!

Isn't this why we're in the financial mess we're in?


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