Hank Haney Was Suspended From Sirius Radio for Predicting That an Unspecified Korean With the Last Name 'Lee' Would Win The US Women's Open...And That She Did
SI- Haney was suspended from his SiriusXM radio show on Thursday after making disparaging remarks regarding Korean golfers in the LPGA.
"I'm gonna predict a Korean," Haney said when asked to pick a winner for the upcoming US Women's Open. "That's gonna be my prediction. I couldn't name you, like, six players on the LPGA Tour," Haney continued. "Nah, maybe I could. Well, I'd go with Lee. If I didn't have to name a first name, I'd get a bunch of them right. I don't know...Lexi Thompson...Michelle Wie's hurt. I don't know that many."
In fairness to Hank Haney, I'm not sure what type of answer we should have expected out of 63-year-old white dude who was being asked about women's athletics after spending his entire life immersed in a sport that's not exactly known for its inclusiveness. I don't want to completely excuse him, because he certainly didn't have to wade that close to the unforgiving waters of social insensitivity, but - as far as questionable commentary goes - that's about as mild as it can possibly come out of an unfiltered mouth born of a less progressive generation.
I personally wouldn't have gone the "ha, look at all the Koreans with the same last name!" route in un-artfully analyzing the best female golfers on the planet. However, I can think of far more objectionable observations to be made by a guy who is inclined by his age and ethnicity to say the type of things that make conversations uncomfortable during Thanksgiving dinner.
Now, arguing that his "prediction" was made on the basis of mathematics is as much of a stretch as arguing that a Women's Open win by one of six Jeongeun Lee's participating completely exonerates him of any wrong spewing....
That said, I'd assume that most have ignored much more offensive jokes made by much more socially inappropriate elders, as the vast majority of race and/or gender-based humor doesn't highlight the successes of the minority on the ass end of it. The direction that Hank Haney went with his answer was definitely stupid, as golf enthusiasts/experts should never draw attention to the game's melanin deficiency. However, at the risk of defending a 'Hank', I'm not going to claim that it was some sort of egregious example of the racist and sexist undertones that exist throughout sports as much as it was an old dude wandering his way through word vomit and ending up in a no-win situation only to stub his toe on a sign of the times. Despite being right, he wasn't in the right. Still, I don't think it's crazy to that they are levels to being in the wrong, and he was far from the reaching the highest one.