You may recall our item over the weekend regarding Ross Shimabuku, the San Diego sports anchor who had choice words about Danica Patrick upon her debut on NASCAR's Sprint Cup circuit, which took place on Monday night. She was involved in a multi-car wreck as soon as the second lap started, but in fairness to her, she returned after about one-third of the race was in the books, and finished 38th overall.
Last Monday, Shimabuku berated Patrick, who insisted she not be referred to as "sexy". Quoth Shimabuku: "I've got a few words... starts with a 'B', and it's not 'beautiful'."
The comments were initially brought to light when video was uploaded to the YouTube account of Women's Media Center. We picked up on it, and by the power of other well-known sports media websites (and thanks for the hat tips, folks, partial or otherwise), the video had gone viral.
At around that time, video quietly surfaced on the website of KSWB, Shimabuku's employer, of the sports anchor apologizing for his comments about Patrick the night before.
"I got a lot of emails regarding some comments I made about NASCAR driver Danica Patrick," Shimabuku said on last Tuesday's newscast, "and I truly apologize if I offended anyone by those comments." He added the comments were "not meant to be an attack" on Patrick, and also told viewers that he "worked with her before in Phoenix" (Shimabuku had worked at a Phoenix TV station before joining KSWB in San Diego). "I think she's... great for the sport, but more people will be willing to watch her because she's in the sport."
What a difference a week makes.
Fast forward to this Tuesday, where KSWB notified followers of their Twitter account that "Ross Shimabuku has been suspended without pay for a week because of his comment about Danica Patrick." The person handling the station's Twitter account also took the time to respond to viewers who had tweeted the station informing of Shimabuku's comments about Patrick. (Except for my Twitter account, oddly enough. Hmmm.)
I'd be interested in finding out what the atmosphere was around the KSWB newsroom in the week since Shimabuku's comment. "How badly do you think [anchorwoman] Kathleen Bade wanted to slap Shimabuku after that," pondered AwfulAnnouncing.com's Matt Clapp.
I also wonder if the person responsible for the "I'm Sexy And I Know It!" chyron that ran over video of Patrick saying she doesn't want to be called "sexy" in Shimabuku's report will be reprimanded in any way.
Meanwhile, there's an ironic twist in the original video. If you go back and watch the clip from last Monday, you'll also see Shimabuku discuss Jimmie Johnson's crew chief getting "caught cheating" prior to the Daytona 500. "Probably will be getting a suspension," Shimabuku said of Chad Knaus.
Little did Ross know, it was his comments about Danica Patrick just seconds earlier that eventually got him a suspension.
Karma. It starts with a 'B', and it's not beautiful.
(Incidentally, for what it's worth, Knaus has been suspended, too.)