Sports broadcaster Tony Kornheiser, (Left.) went off on the following anti-cyclist rant on his ESPN radio show while discussing a proposal to add new bike lanes in Washington, DC.
....."I don't take my car and ride on the sidewalk because I understand that's not for my car.
Why do these people think that these roads were built for bicycles?
They don't share the road. They dominate the road.
They dare you to run them down....And then when you do, they get angry. What is that about?....And so you tap them. I'm not saying you kill them. I'm saying you tap them.
Tap them once....If you're not rubbing, you're not racing right? So you pop them a little bit and see what happens."
Later Lance Armstrong who has close to 2 ½ million followers on Twitter weighed in with the following comments:
Tony Kornheiser on cyclists on the road, "run 'em down". Really? Big mistake, Tony.
Listening to Tony Kornheiser's comments/rant on ESPN radio re: cyclists. Disgusting, ignorant, foolish. What a complete f-ing idiot.
As a result ESPN took down Kornheiser's broadcast with the cyclist comments from its website, and Lance Armstrong, will appear on Kornheiser's radio show March 19 to discuss the issue.
Further messages from Lance on Twitter said:
...just off the phone with Tony Kornheiser who's very sorry for his comments re: cyclists. Going on the show tomorrow to discuss this.
To me this is all about a relationship. It's bikes and cars. Both will be here forever. Awareness needs to exist as well as mutual respect.
When will these broadcasters and print journalists realize that it is not alright to go off on these anti-cyclist, hate tirades, then claim that it was just in fun, not serious.
Dan Steinberg in his Washington Post DC Sports Blog defends Kornheiser saying:
He's been saying things like this for years and years, way before bloggers decided that radio transcription was an acceptable pastime.
If you listen, you also realize that he's playing the character of a crotchety old man who doesn't like John Feinstein (whom he actually likes), doesn't like Mike Wise, doesn't like soccer, doesn't like soccer parents, doesn't like cross-country skiers, doesn't like women's basketball players, doesn't like Jim Rome, doesn't like David Falk, doesn't like Fran Drescher, doesn't like interviewing athletes, doesn't like sales weasels, doesn't like bloggers, doesn't like computers, doesn't like e-mail, and basically doesn't like life.
If the interest groups for everything that Kornheiser had ever insulted on his radio show were to start online campaigns against his radio station, well, that would make for a fairly humorless world. I mean, it's shtick, people. Chill out.
No,no,no… it is not okay because there are enough road rage crazies out there who will attempt to act out Kornheiser’s fantasy. You can’t just “Tap” a cyclist with a five ton vehicle without serious consequences.
There was a certain Doctor in Los Angeles who thought he could “Teach Cyclists a Lesson” by slamming on his brakes in front of two bike riders. I’m sure the Doc thought the two would simply bounce off the back of his car and come away just a little scared, but otherwise uninjured.
The actual result was one cyclist with his nose almost severed from his face, the other with a dislocated shoulder, and the Doctor went to prison for five years.
I hope Lance Armstrong will touch on that when he talks with Kornheiser today.