ISLAND LEADERS LASH OUT OVER BEING PORTRAYED AS TROPICAL BUMPKINS IN COCKFIGHTING STORY; CONTRITE CHIEFTAINS IN BRISTOL PULL THE STORY
Apparently, it's easy to take swipes at local customs and portray residents as backward savages when they're not part of your core demographic. Or so ESPN.com thought.
Freelancer Mike Ogle wrote about going to a night of cockfighting, which is legal in Guam. But Ogle wasn't content in his May 24 article (since pulled by ESPN, but you can find it cached if you look it up on Google) to give his up-close-and-personal account of an evening watching roosters being gored by each other. But instead of merely offering up an offbeat slice of life, he also felt a need to throw in a few racially insensitive remarks for good measure. To wit:
Evidently, this is what the locals do to pass the time on this 341-square-mile island (about three times the size of Washington, D.C.) stuck all by itself in the middle of the Pacific. Truly, the middle of nowhere. Entertainment options are limited.
Oh, you mean he came for the nightlife? Oops. Actually, he probably could've killed an hour or two at the island's KMart, the world's largest. Never mind. Ogle was just getting started.
Guam, though, is not exactly Manhattan (23 percent live below the poverty line), and the crowd was not exactly the upper crust of the population. They say if an American man walks through a particular poor village in Guam, families will offer their daughters.
Ogle doesn't tell us, though, if he got laid that night.
It appears it took a while for Guam elders to catch wind of the article, as they first complained to the network on June 14. A few days later, ESPN got around to saying it's sorry. So far, Ogle remains mum. It could be argued, he's just plain chicken.