Cris Collinsworth got the call for NBC’s coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers-Baltimore Ravens game this Wednesday, but he probably hopes he took a sick day for this one.
During the broadcast of the AFC North matchup, Collinsworth said he was ‘blown away’ by how much the women Steelers fans knew and cared about the team. The Internet didn’t take too kindly to Collinsworth’s comments, and he issued an apology a few hours later to weather the storm.
Cris Collinsworth was on the call for Wednesday’s Steelers-Ravens game
The Steelers and Ravens were originally scheduled to play on Thanksgiving night to cap off the three-game holiday slate. But COVID-19 issues in the Ravens’ locker room made it impossible for the divisional rivals to suit up last Thursday.
The game was then postponed to Sunday afternoon, but positive COVID-19 tests kept emerging out of Baltimore. So, the game was postponed again, this time to Tuesday night. A few days later, the contest was pushed back once more to Wednesday afternoon.
The Ravens were without multiple starters on both sides of the ball, but they finally took the field on Wednesday after nearly a week of delays. NBC had dibs on television coverage for the game, so the network pegged Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth to handle play-by-play duties, with Al Michaels taking the day off.
Cris Collinsworth insults the intelligence of female football fans
During the broadcast of the unique Sunday Night Football matchup, Collinsworth noted how passionate Steelers fans are about their undefeated team. Only, his comments came across as insulting to female football fans in Pittsburgh.
“Everybody’s a fan. In particular, the ladies that I met,” Collinsworth said during the second quarter of Wednesday’s broadcast. “They have really specific questions about the game, and I’m like, ‘Wow,’ you’re just blown away by how strong the fans are here in this town.”
News flash, Cris — women can be passionate football fans too, and they always have been.
Collinsworth apologizes for his insensitive comments
A mere hours after Collinsworth left the booth on Wednesday night, he saw the backlash his comments created on the Internet. So, he took to Twitter to apologize for his insensitive statement.
“Today on our broadcast I made reference to a couple of women I met in Pittsburgh who so impressed me with their football knowledge that I wanted to tell their story on the air,” Collinsworth wrote in a Twitter post. “I know the way I phrased it insulted many. I’m so sorry. What I intended as a compliment to the fans of Pittsburgh, became an insult. I’m sick about insulting any fan, but especially female fans and journalists. I know first hand how much harder they have to work than any of us in this industry. I was wrong and deeply apologize.”