“You don’t think they’re overrated – these Jayhawks, Gayhawks!”
Jack Harry, while discussing the Kansas Jayhawks basketball team’s recent loss at Colorado with Frank Boal Sunday night, KSHB 41 Link
GH: This was an unscripted casual conversation between Harry and Boal and Harry looked to me to be having some fun with it. He smirked when he said what sure sounded like “Gayhawks” to emphasize that he thought Bill Self’s team is overrated. Gayhawk Gate has ensued. Read on.
“It was clearly a slip up. It sounds like he may or may not have used a homophobic term to describe the Kansas Jayhawks. … They need to suspend Jack Harry and issue an apology.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Fescoe is a KU grad and a self-professed Kansas homer. He is maybe the only local member of the local sports media to admit his favoritism – which is somewhat admirable. But he pretty much disqualifies himself for commenting on Gayhawk Gate by his own admission that he is biased about all things Kansas.
“I think that was a conversation you have with a buddy that you probably have used that term before and you let it slip on the air. … I do (think he should be fired). Yeah, I do. I would expect serious repercussions. … Putting the standards of myself – if I said something like that even if it was a slip up of something you might say…When you’re broadcasting in that context, no you can’t (say that).”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM
GH: Klingler works for the Jayhawk Radio Network and has close ties to the Kansas athletic department. He is far more objective about Kansas than Fescoe but his opinions on this also have to be weighed against the fact that he is employed by the very sports department that Harry is accused of attacking.
“He said it & is trying 2 cover it up. As an MU fan I don’t ‘claim’ him, like I know some KU fans don’t claim Fescoe.”
John Petrovic@photogwingsfan, Twitter
“I heard the video. He said it, but it may have been just a slip of the tongue. Maybe Jack has been reading Tigerboard too much.”
Jeff Gelski@jjgelski, Twitter
“What a crock. Then, Jack Harry, if that wasn’t what you said, what did you say?”
Joel Grillot@jbenny81, Twitter
GH: This is a great question. Harry definitely did not say “Jayhawks” as he did right before he uttered the controversial term. He even emphasized the word for shock value.
“He corrects himself and says it louder with inflection. He even jumps out of his seat a bit like he is excited.”
Ted Klein@TheRealTedKlein, Twitter
“Somehow, someway I don’t know what happened but it got out on the social media today that I used a derogatory term in talking about the Kansas Jayhawks. Believe me folks, I would never ever go on the air. That’s not what I am all about. I’ve had my go around with Jayhawk fans but I would never say what I have been accused of. I felt compelled to get that out today.”
Jack Harry, responding in his Monday night sportscast to the Gayhawks controversy, KSHB TV 41
GH: There are more holes in Harry’s prepared statement that the Mizzou defensive scheme against Auburn. Let’s expose a few. “Somehow, someway I don’t know what happened…” What is Jack even talking about here? Did he not review the video and audio? There is no mystery as to why there is a controversy. For him to act like he is completely unaware of why this occurred just adds to his guilt. Then the comment, “that’s not what I’m about.” Actually, that is pretty much ALL of what Jack is about. He is Jack Smack trying to get a rise out of his audience to increase his ratings. Some people work hard and then there are guys like Jack who sling mud. Well, this time he got himself dirty.
“He’s always been unprofessional. Just tries to get a rise out of people.”
Jason King, @JasonKingESPN, Twitter
“It sounds like Dayhawks as much as Gayhawks. They’re only sensitive to the suggestion because of that Pitch article from yrs ago.”
GH: I don’t think an old Pitch article is fueling this fire but rather Harry’s penchant for verbally baiting Jayhawk athletes, teams and fans over the years. He called for Kansas to drop football a few years back. What legitimate sportscaster in Kansas City would do that? Harry has built a professional persona of being “Jack Smack” and he and his station are now reaping the fallout.
“That video seems to suggest Jack did say that. He is handling this all wrong. Say you slipped, apologize and move on.”
Bill Knust@billknust, Twitter
“That guy is an ass. I’m in college for sports journalism. Def can’t say that.”
“Too close to call. I can’t believe he would be that careless on air.”
“I love America, but when I see people defend ignorance like Jack Harry saying “Gayhawks” I understand why we’re so far behind.”
Mike Welch, @RealMikeWelch, Twitter
“While Jack Harry is opinionate, he knows the difference between legitimate sports discussion and unacceptable, uncalled for language. After speaking at length with Jack, we believe jack when he tells us that is not what he said. We stand by Jack and encourage him to speak his mind when it comes to sports in Kansas City and beyond.”
41 Action News Staff
GH: The explanation by 41 Action News is as poorly written as Jack’s explanation. They don’t even exhibit the professionalism to mention what Jack has been accused of saying on the air. How confusing is this to viewers who are unaware of the controversy? How does KSHB promote “Jack Smack” and then turn around and act like Harry is a legit member of the media? KSHB is in this mess because they “encourage him to speak his mind.”
and Twitter / @greghall24