The white ESPN reporter who appeared to lecture a black NFL head coach about race "representation" got bombed on Twitter after the video of the Q&A picked up steam on social media.
The reporter in question, Jenna Laine, issued clarifications Friday in the wake of intense criticism over her line of questioning toward Todd Bowles of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
What's the background?
During a Wednesday press conference, a reporter noted to Bowles that he and Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers are "two of the few black head coaches" in the NFL and asked what his relationship is like with Tomlin. The Bucs and Steelers are scheduled to face off Sunday. The reporter also asked Bowles for his thoughts on Steve Wilks, who also is black, becoming interim head coach of the Carolina Panthers.
"I have a very good relationship with Tomlin," Bowles replied. "We don't look at what color we are when we coach against each other. We just know each other. I have a lot of very good white friends that coach in this league as well. And I don't think it's a big deal ... it's normal."
He added that Wilks has an opportunity to "do a good job" and that, for the three of them, "we coach ball; we don't look at color."
With that, Laine chimed in: "But you also understand that representation matters too, right? And that when young, aspiring coaches — and even football players – they see you guys, you know, they see someone that looks like them, maybe grew up like them, that has to mean something."
Bowles wasn't taking the bait: "Well, when you say ... 'you guys' and 'look like them' and 'grew up like them' means that we're oddballs to begin with, and I think the minute you guys stop making a big deal about it, everybody else will as well."
Bucs Coach Calls Out Press For Dumb Race Questionyoutu.be
What happened next?
A number of Twitter users came down hard on Laine. Here's a smattering of the nearly 600 comments as of Friday below her post about the press conference:
- "White liberal women stfu and stop trying to insert yourself into black issues ..." one commenter said.
- "Hey, privileged white 'journalist' girl who contributes nothing of value to society, and who likely votes Democrat because she's a sheep, maybe let the black guy speak for himself," another user said. "Maybe listen to him, maybe he means what he says, maybe it's true. Just a thought. You clown."
- "Jenna, you got owned!" another commenter declared. "We’re all SICK of you despicable media people & your racist woke BS! You’re a propagandist & are knowingly part of the problem. You were disrespectful, patronizing & condescending w/the dumb, unnecessary things you said to him. STOP! You’re an embarrassment!"
- "Glad he called you out for race baiting," another user said.
Laine issues clarifications
Laine didn't let the negative reactions go unchallenged. On Friday she issued clarifications below her main post:
She kept going:
Twitter commenters weren't kind:
- "Backpedaling like a cornerback," one user responded.
- "You were doing the stereotypical racist liberal thing which is to tell black people how they should feel and think," another commenter said. "We all saw it."
- "Yeah that’s a bunch of bulls**t," another user wrote."You were projecting your beliefs and priorities onto Coach Bowles. 'But you also understand that representation matters.' If the roles were reversed it would be called 'mansplaining.' This is 'wokesplaining.' It’s always the liberal white woman."
- "'You guys,' 'Like them'… This woman sounds like a genuine racist hiding behind the cloak of the woke mob," another commenter said. "Good on Bowles for calling out actual racism."
In loaded request for comment, Forbes contributor accuses DeSantis of tapping 'into the most primitive, racist proclivities of his electorate'