Chris Fowler Angers Creationists with World Cup Closing Statement

On Sunday, ESPN completed its lengthy coverage of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. After Spain beat the Netherlands 1-0, ESPN sent things to their on-site location for a wrap-up from host Chris Fowler and analysts Alexi Lalas and Steve McNamanan. Fowler did an excellent job the entire six weeks in South Africa but his final minutes on TV could yield the most controversy. Here’s what Fowler said in his closing statement from South Africa:

“As for the African experience, we’ve all come away changed and moved by our months here in South Africa. Will this World Cup solve all of this country’s problems? Certainly not. But if you listen to the locals here, it has certainly gone a long way creating unity and harmony that this nation with a troubled past has never seen. We invite you to experience it some day. You will not come away from this country without being moved and inspired and changed if you open your heart to it because after all, as human beings, if you go back far enough to our roots, we are all Africans.”

It’s not that I disagree with what Fowler said, it’s that he touched on a highly sensitive subject for Americans. There are many people who believe in creationism rather than evolution, and Fowler may have alienated the former. He could have spoken glowingly about South Africa the way he did and left that final line out. Maybe I’m just seeing things through a sensitive perspective. After all, if this tweet from ESPN PR man Bill Hofheimer is any indication, ESPN had no problem with the remark: “ESPN’s chris fowler, as usual, very eloquent in his closing remarks, thanking entire crew, #RSA South Africa and encapsulating the last 4 wks.” Eloquent, yes. Controversial too.

Around The Web

  • JS

    Now I want to watch the Spencer Tracy/Fredric March version of Inherit the Wind

  • SpinMax

    If you go back far enough, we are all genetic soup

  • Douglas

    I never watched ABC/ESPN WC coverage at all during the World Cup prefering Univision, but after hearing about that PC quip Fowler apparently said I’ll NEVER watch ABC/ESPN again.

  • http://www.missdynamite.com Sirkowski

    There’s no excuse for being sensitive towards the truth.

  • yll777

    So don’t get this, is there really a controversy? The bible also says he world was made in 7 days and yet the religious right don’t start campaigning when anyone states that the universe is actually however many billions of years old. Mainly because the consensus of the people is not in the church’s favour.

    All the distraction about creationism is meaningless and overblown and is yet another dogma which gets in the way of religion being seen as a positive force in the modern world. When there are so many positive things in the teachings of Christ why do the hell and damnation posse always get the most coverage.

    IMO those who shout the loudest have the most insecurity.

    Seems like the guy that posted this is actually fishing for a negative reaction and feeding the fires of religious inspired hatred.

  • greenestreet

    Dude, it’s true. It’s well documented, he didn’t say we were all black he meant the first human remains were discovered on the continent of Africa calm down. It’s okay you can still belong to the country club.

  • HeavyRiffs

    Does this mean we weren’t all left here by Aliens with a sense of humour?

  • HeavyRiffs

    Surely creationists can just forgive him right?

  • borromini

    Stop being sensitive and more open-minded. Besides, it’s the truth.

  • Marcus

    Talk about a straw-man. Creationists believe we all came from the original two humans, and those humans had to live somewhere, and most scientists point to Africa as being that place, so why would we have a problem with someone saying we all came from Africa?
    A more problematic statement from a Christian perspective would be a theory that proclaimed humans evolved in several places all in parallel.
    FWIW, one can be a Christian and believe in evolution. The friggin Pope even has a series of homilies (from before he became pope) saying just that:


  • HeavyRiffs

    If we all come from two original humans, where did they come from then, answer me that creationists?

  • Mikey

    to Heavyriffs:
    God….the creator, not from spontaneously generated cells.

  • Sam

    Who says the Garden of Eden was not in Africa?

  • waddywoos

    The only problem with this whole incident is that this writer is making something of it. Who cares? I haven’t heard anyon making any remarks about it at all. Do us a favour and write about something news/blog worthy or stfu!

  • Sven

    reading this article and the comments is very scary. The US is moving away more and more from other civilized nations. Soon the Saudis and Iranians will be your best friends, as they will be the only ones left sharing your anti-scientific worldview.

  • Paul

    From an European point of view, it amazes me to no end that creationism debate exists in the modern world. And not in far underdeveloped land, but in the U.S.