Television host Steve Harvey came under fire Wednesday after he twice referred to Golden State Warriors players as “gorillas” in a conversation with an ESPN commentator after Game 3.
Harvey made the comments when ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith asked him what his hometown team, Cleveland Cavaliers, could do to come back against the Warriors in the NBA Finals, according to Deadline. The Cavaliers have not won a game in the series and are on the brink of elimination.
“You can’t stop them,” he said. “You gotta outscore them. You can’t stop all them boys. They’ve got too many gorillas on the team. They coming to play, man. They got 800-pound gorillas on their team.”
Harvey’s comments drew little scrutiny until sports commentator Clay Travis, who hosts Outkick the Coverage, pointed out that nothing had been pointed out that tennis broadcaster Doug Adler was fired for using the term “guerilla” to describe superstar Venus Williams.
“So how is it that Harvey can come on ESPN and compare an entire team of majority black athletes to gorillas and no one else in the mainstream sports media even takes note other than me?” Travis wrote in a column. “That’s especially the case when you consider the recent contretemps involving Roseanne being fired from Disney/ABC, the very network that will air Family Feud starring Steve Harvey, for comparing a black person to an ape on Twitter.”
Adler, who started working for ESPN in 2008, came under fire in January 2017 when he said Williams was using the “guerilla effect” in one of her matches.
Adler was fired two days later.
Adler told the “Today” show in August that ESPN made him “unemployable” since his termination. He has since sued the network.
Harvey was criticized earlier this year for racially charged remarks during a New Year’s Eve broadcast when he said “three little black dudes singing the song better than all the white people I know.”