If you listen to Mad Dog Radio, a Sirius XM radio station, it is — just like much of America’s sports talk radio — a bastion of white male privilege. Don’t believe us: check the station’s website, and look at the pictures of the hosts.
The star of the network is Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo, the host of the afternoon drive time show.
And if the tape that’s posted on YouTube is him (and it sure sounds like Russo), While taking phone calls on Thursday’s show Russo was asked by a caller, The Warrior, why his station doesn’t have any African-American hosts.
And here’s what
the person on the tape Russo said:
What would you like us to do … I mean, there’s not a million candidates. Would you like us to put on a black host who is for whatever…just for the sake of putting on a person of African-American so we can say we have a black host on? This is subscription radio that people are paying to listen to people. Or do you want us to find a black host who is worthy of doing a national talk show What would you like?
When the caller pressed and expressed shock that the station had never been able to find a black host, the host sunk a little deeper in his own bullshit. Here’s his response:
Don’t you think if we thought there was a black sports talk show host who knew what was going on, and who wanted a job here with us — you don’t think we’d put that person on? What do you think, we’re crazy?
Yes, Mad Dog Russo, you are crazy. There are many blacks doing sports talks shows across the country who are qualified but, for the most part, are relegated to black radio. The show that I co-host, The Blacktopxchange Sports Report, has as hosts David Steele (a national writer with The Sporting News), Ali Danois (a national writer at the Shadow League), and myself, Jerry Bembry (a former staff writer and radio/television analyst at ESPN). Our show airs on WEAA-FM, the public radio station at Morgan State University.
Qualified to talk about sports? Absolutely.
Donald Sterling got caught up in a racist rant in a private recording that he probably thought would never get out.
The person Russo, on this tape felt comfortable unleashing an uneducated rant on his own show.
Now that the NBA and it’s owners have banned Donald Sterling for life, perhaps the culture in sports ownership is about to change.
Now—if this tape proves true— it’s time to apply that same pressure to sports media, especially the lily-white world of sports talk radio.
In the meantime, take a listen to Russo’s rant:
Here’s Russo’s twitter response: