Two prominent personalities from CBS Radio sports/talk WSCR AM 670 have apologized for an exchange of tweets that many viewed as sexist and degrading toward a female sportscaster from Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
Score midday co-host Matt Spiegel and afternoon co-host Dan Bernstein were widely criticized on social media for a series of crude comments Wednesday about the physical attributes of Comcast SportsNet anchor/reporter Aiyana Cristal.
“This is obviously a disappointing and unfortunate situation,” Comcast SportNet said in a statement Thursday. “We are hopeful Aiyana Cristal receives sincere and direct apologies, and that WSCR uses this occurrence and their influence to positively impact the level of respect paid to women in sports media.”
Labeling the comments “sexist,” the Association for Women in Sports Media released this statement: “The Association for Women in Sports Media condemns any comments that address a person’s appearance rather than her work, and there is no question that [Dan Bernstein’s] comments did exactly that. We applaud his colleague Matt Spiegel for publicly apologizing for his role in the incident, and have reached out to The Score to express our concern and hope that Bernstein will do the same and learn from the experience.”
Here is the initial exchange between Spiegel and Bernstein:
- Spiegel: “Aiyana Cristal makes me uncomfortable. I feel how hard she’s trying & end up awkwardly rooting for her to finish cleanly.”
- Bernstein: “I have no rooting interest in her work, but enjoy her giant boobs.”
- Spiegel: “I am improbably distracted from them by her professional discomfort. It’s a crime.”
- Bernstein: “That’s a complicated thought. Unpacking that is beyond me.”
- Spiegel: “I contain multitudes.”
- Bernstein: “Boobs.”
- Speigel: “By the way, Cubs hitting coach John Mallee is imparting wisdom on CSN right now. You’re not allowed to listen or discuss.”
- Bernstein: “Boobs?”
Rod Zimmerman, senior vice president and market manager of CBS Radio Chicago, did not respond immediately to a request for comment. Sources at the Score said no disciplinary action was being considered against Spiegel or Bernstein.
On Thursday, Spiegel was first to apologize, tweeting the following: “My initial tweet was about a reporter’s on air presence & work. I stand by that; fair game. I regret the exchange thereafter as it devolved. I missed an opportunity to keep the subject on point, & stay respectful. I’m sorry for that on many levels, & sad I offended Aiyana & others.”
Later in what Bernstein referred to as the “Twitter kerfuffle,” he said on the air: “I’m an idiot. There are certain times where you can be childish and crass and other times where it’s just really stupid to be a child. My tweet was childish, my tweet was crass and unnecessary, and I’m sorry I dragged an innocent person into it who’s doing a job, and I made an observation I shouldn’t have made, and it was childish and silly and stupid. . . . My words are my responsibility, and my words were stupid, and there’s nobody else to blame for any difficulty that I might be going through because of my stupidity. . . . I feel bad about it.”
In 2012, Joe Cowley, a sports columnist for the Sun-Times, was placed on “final notice” for posting a series of sexist and offensive messages on his Twitter account. Cowley, who’s still employed at the paper, had targeted Sloane Martin, a female sports reporter.