Howard Cosell Got Fired Immediately After He Said This

On September 5, 1983, during a Monday Night Football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins, broadcaster Howard Cosell made a controversial statement. Alvin Garrett, a Redskins wide receiver, narrowly dodged a tackle to score a first down. Cosell said, “That little monkey gets loose, doesn’t he?” Viewers were outraged by the comparison of an African-American player to a monkey, and ABC received numerous complaints. Black leaders, including Reverend Joseph Lowry, have sought a public apology.

Initially, Cosell denied making the comment but later admitted to it, explaining that he had intended to comment on Garrett’s small size and agility, not his race. He noted that he had previously called a white player, Mike Adamle, a “little monkey” for the same reasons. Video evidence supported this.

Despite the incident, Cosell was a long-time supporter of black athletics. He defended sprinters John Carlos and Tommy Smith’s Black Power salute in the Olympics, and Muhammad Ali supported them. Alvin Garrett himself indicated that he did not find the phrase insulting, noting that he had used the nickname “little monkey” to describe his grandchild.

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Source: Facts Verse

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