I had quite the disagreement with Mark Hebscher on Friday's episode of Hebsy on Sports. I'm not talking about the fact he thinks Michael Jordan could have been an MLB player, which I passionately disagreed with, but I'm referring to the recent controversy over this tweet from Sportsnet personality Steve Dangle.
In that tweet, Steve Dangle writes "I'm sure you already knew I thought this way but Donald Trump is a cowardly, weak-kneed, bed-wetting, piece of shit and if you support him so are you."
Hebsy thought that tweet was in such poor taste that Steve Dangle should be "reprimanded" by his employer. He thought it was over the line. You can watch us discuss it here.
Before I continue my defense of Steve Dangle's tweet, I'd like to disclose a potential perceived bias. He did visit my home studio for an episode of Toronto Mike'd. It's the one and only time I've met Steve Dangle. We don't hang out and have rarely communicated since, but human nature is such that you tend to like someone more when you've spent a couple of hours alone chatting with them. I don't believe this experience is shaping my opinion here, but I thought I'd disclose it nonetheless. You can hear that episode below.
A few people, aware that I'm one of the few outlets covering such matters, let me know about Steve Dangle's tweet by linking me to a pretty hateful anti-immigration site. To date, that seems to be the only site interested in this non-story. If Hebsy didn't raise it as a discussion point on Friday, I wouldn't have deemed it blog-worthy.
It seems to me that the vocal minority trying to get Steve Dangle fired for this tweet are attempting to link it to the firing of Don Cherry last year. Dangle (I know it's not his real name, but Glynn isn't as fun to type) didn't attack a race, religion, gender, sexual preference or even a culture. He attacked Donald Trump and his supporters.
We saw this very same play from the vocal minority of Canadians who feel Don Cherry was victimized by Sportsnet when they went after poor Jess Allen from The Social for sharing her negative experiences with hockey culture. It seems many of those who wanted Jess Allen fired by her employer (thankfully she wasn't) now want Dangle fired as some sort of warped retaliation.
Equating Dangle's tweet (or Jess's rant) with Cherry's comments is asinine. Sure, Dangle's tweet used a bad word (gasp!), and is rather hyperbolic in how it so broadly strokes Trump's base, but I'd bet the vast majority of Canadians agree with the sentiment and almost nobody was truly offended by such a tweet from a Sportsnet hockey commentator/entertainer. It was a personal tweet for goodness sake, not a rant on Sportsnet or The Fan 590!
Following Friday's episode of Hebsy on Sports, when a listener sided with Hebsy and called me out on Twitter, Hebsy replied to say he'd done some research and the majority of personalities and journalists he'd contacted agreed with him. Here's that tweet.
Have done my research. Contacted 4 @Sportsnet personalities and two newspaper journos. Asked them what they thought of the @Steve_Dangle tweet. 3 thought he should be reprimanded, 2 were OK with the tweet and one felt it was close to a fireable offense.— Mark Hebscher (@Hebsyman) May 16, 2020
I chuckle, because Hebsy and I have talked several times about how we miss real characters in sports media with personalities and the courage to take a stand and say something of substance and, dare I say, the texture of sandpaper. Someone finally does exactly that and people are rooting for his professional demise.
I'm sorry Steve, but some people are just cowardly, weak-kneed, bed-wetting, pieces of shit. Hang in there.