Earlier on Wednesday, we posted a video of ESPN SportsCenter anchor Stan Verrett appearing to use the n-word on a highlight. Verrett responded on his Twitter account shortly thereafter to clarify what he said while reading a highlight of a Stanford guard sinking a buzzer-beater.
“Time, distance, NEITHER one was a problem. Listen carefully next time.”
I had watched SportsCenter Tuesday night and didn’t hear anything funny while watching it live. It wasn’t until the video was passed along to me that I thought anything of it. Sure enough, after listening to the highlight several times, it sounded to me like he had said the n-word on the highlight.
I wrote a post charging Verrett with saying the word on-air. As soon as it was brought to my attention that he was likely saying “Time, distance, neither one a problem,” I quickly revised the post and its tone to indicate that there was disagreement over what he said.
Many people heard the n-word, while many others heard “time, distance, neither one a problem.” It’s obvious that, regardless of what came out, Verrett’s intent was not to use the n-word. Based solely on knowing that, we should not have posted the video and helped create a controversy.
As someone who has broadcasted for years, I wouldn’t want people overanalyzing my misspeaks and charging me with an explosive claim like that. For that, I apologize to Stan for playing a big role in the confusion.
I would also like anyone reading this to know that that’s not what LBS is about. We pride ourselves on accuracy, avoiding mistakes, and being careful when treading in serious subject matters. My judgment was off on this story. I hope this mistake will not change your opinion of LBS, and that it will not adversely affect Stan’s reputation.