Here we go again.
This time, we go to the West Coast.
You thought the Bruce Jacobs thing (which we here at Sportsrantz first broke late last year) was bad. This actually resulted in costing the sports radio host’s job – and like Jacobs, this now-former sports radio host also has a track record of controversial statements on the radio.
And the comments this host made might just rival Don Imus’ infamous “nappy headed ho” remark in terms of disrespect and insensitivity.
Meet Scott Kaplan. He got his start in sports radio alongside Sid Rosenberg co-hosting a show on something called Sports Fan Radio Network. The two eventually brought their act to New York City as the morning “Sports Guys” on WNEW-FM, back when Opie & Anthony called it their flagship station. “Sports Guys” could never succeed in the ratings shadow of Howard Stern on WNEW sister station K-Rock, so after a year, Kaplan hightailed it to San Diego.
His first year in “America’s finest city” was anything but fine. In October 2001, a woman arranged to have Kaplan’s car towed due to illegal parking. Kaplan told her he has “80,000 watts over which I can broadcast your name” because “you ruined my day.” He added, “Do you know who I am?”
He’s not even in the market for a year, and he’s acting like Ladainian Tomlinson.
The next day, Kaplan goes on the radio – his station at the time was XTRA Sports 690 – and called her a “skank.” This was met with a lawsuit, naming Kaplan, and XTRA’s operator, Clear Channel, on grounds of libel, slander and invasion of privacy. (Mike Francesa, are you listening?)
The 2002 lawsuit was settled two years later. By then, he had been in morning drive on XEPRS “XX 1090”, co-hosting “The Scott And B.R. Show” with Billy Ray Smith. It’s like “Sports Guys” but with a West Coast flavor. (It also helps that Howard Stern is no longer on terrestrial radio.)
So back on January 25, Kaplan was talking to a caller and somehow, Andrea Lloyd came up. Lloyd is currently a basketball analyst for the Mountain West Sports Network, or “The Mtn.” for short.
“I think that she is currently a woman,” Kaplan told the caller. “I cannot confirm for you that she has been a woman her entire life. My guess is that at some point she had some form of surgery. Have you seen this chick?”
Later, Kaplan told listeners that he’d settle for ESPN’s “Holly Rowe’s giant butt” than “this sasquatch” Andrea Lloyd.
Kaplan also peppered in other choice adjectives for Lloyd, such as “beast,” “animal” and “monster” in addition to “sasquatch of a woman.”
Brutal. Tasteless. Execrable.
And he had to bring Holly Rowe into it, to boot.
Nothing was done. Kaplan, like most sports radio hosts, took off for Indianapolis for Super Bowl Week. While he was away, Tex Meyer, the general manager of BCA Radio, operator of XX 1090, received an email from a listener complaining about Kaplan’s comments bashing Lloyd. “I have had similar discussions with Scott Kaplan in the past about this subject matter,” Meyer wrote, adding that the station is “very sensitive” to such “derogatory remarks” and will not be “tolerate(d)”. Meyer closed with an apology to the listener.
Monday. First day back from Indianapolis. Kaplan is confronted about his remarks about Lloyd two weeks ago.
“I don’t apologize for the fact that we’re a “guy show,” a locker room kind of show. There’s no apology for that… That’s what we do.”
As noted ficitious San Diego news anchor Ron Burgundy would say, that’s bush league.
And late Monday, XX 1090 ejected Kaplan. (The future of co-host Billy Ray Smith is up in the air.)
Sadly, I think Kaplan would have eventually reached this point even if he did apologize.
“There’s no apology for that… That’s what we do.”
Last I checked, you were a host on a radio station with a sports format. That “sasquatch” schtick might have gotten you far on WNEW a dozen years ago. (Oh, yeah – look at what happened to Opie and Anthony on WNEW not too long after Kaplan’s departure.)
The bottom line is, such disdainful comments have no place on regular talk radio, let alone sports radio. (Bruce Jacobs, are you listening?)
Unless you live on the West Coast, you probably haven’t heard of Andrea Lloyd until this development. So let’s take a look at her bio: Before landing at MTN, she worked for three regional FSN networks, as well as CSTV. Prior to that, you guessed it, she was a professional basketball player, including two seasons in the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx around the turn of the century. In 2007, she was elected to the team’s Hall Of Fame.
So Scott Kaplan, with his checkered past in radio, gets the boot for making disparaging comments about a WNBA Hall Of Famer, yet Bruce Jacobs, with his own checkered radio past, mocks WNBA players in general, and is still on the air today. Explain that to me.
And just to wrap this up in a little bow: Like Kaplan before him, Sid Rosenberg eventually left the WNEW “Sports Guys” show, and joined the nationally syndicated “Imus In The Morning” program, then based at WFAN, the premier sports radio station in America. (I know – political talk belongs on sports radio just as much as “locker room” talk does – but Imus was a major biller for WFAN.) Anyway, through his tenure at “Imus,” Rosenberg has made his share of controversial remarks, involving everyone from Venus and Serena Williams to singer Kylie Minogue, and even the late Yasser Arafat. Rather than rehash all of these, I will simply direct you to his Wikipedia entry. But it bears mentioning that Rosenberg was in the studio as Imus, along with producer Bernard McGuirk, analyzed footage of Rutgers Scarlet Knights basketball from the Women’s Final Four. “Rough girls,” Imus said before adding the fateful “nappy headed hos” description which, while he did apologize for, ended up marking the end of a twenty-year run at WFAN (and many years before at the station’s predecessor, WNBC-AM). But Rosenberg, who had been substituting for the regular sports update anchor on “Imus” (he left WFAN and “Imus” full-time in 2005 for a radio job in Miami) was no angel in the incident, either. Quoth Rosenberg: “The more I look at Rutgers, they look exactly like the Toronto Raptors.”
Sid Rosenberg is still on the radio in Miami, doing his best to stay out of trouble. But I can’t help but wonder if it’s crossed the now-unemployed Scott Kaplan’s mind to relocate to Miami and bring back the “Sports Guys” franchise. If Rosenberg wants to remain out of trouble, he won’t agree to a reunion.
But this is why I bring back the Imus Rutgers incident in the wake of the Andrea Lloyd “sasquatch” controversy: to remind you that these two hosts have basically been the same deprecating and denigrating selves that they’ve been when they were doing radio together – only on their own. Birds of a feather – a jaundiced one.
“There’s no apology for that… That’s what we do.”
Stay classy, Scott Kaplan.