An ESPN announcer was slammed by viewers on Saturday after
referring to the death of an LSU football coach’s daughter-in-
law as a “distraction” ahead of the College Football Playoff
semifinal in Atlanta.
“Certainly our thoughts and prayers with coach and his family,
as he gets to do his job and try to put away the distraction of
losing his daughter-in-law just hours before kickoff,” ESPN’s
Matt Barrie said on-air hours after Carley McCord, the relative
of Tigers’ offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger, was one of
five people killed in a small Louisiana plane crash.
McCord, the 30-year-old sports reporter, was on her way from
Lafayette, La., to the Peach Bowl in Georgia when the plane
crashed in a post office parking lot shortly after takeoff.
The flight’s lone survivor was in critical condition.
Ensminger ended up coaching the 63-28 rout of Oklahoma, and was
seen hugging players on the field during warmups around the time
Barrie made his comment.
The website, “Awful Announcing,” received nearly 2,000 likes on
a tweet criticizing Barrie’s comment, while others also chimed
“I know your job is to talk about the game but in moments like
these is when your humanity should kick in,” tweeted Annie
Apple, the mother of Saints cornerback and former Giant Eli
Apple. “Death of his daughter in law is not ‘a distraction..’.
Just say ‘Ensminger will be coaching with a heavy heart today..’
Producers, help dude fix this.”
College football writer Alex Kirshner tweeted, “Let’s not refer
to an LSU assistant coach losing one of his children in a plane
crash as a ‘distraction’ from the football game at hand,” before
following up with, “The football game is the distraction, not
the death of a child.”
There also was football fan James Niemeyer, who wrote, “Try and
put away the distraction of losing his daughter-in-law”?!? Jesus
ESPN can we not categorize the loss of human life, especially
one that’s family, as a “distraction”? Come on…”
And hockey writer Adam Gretz said: “No idea who this dude on the
ESPN pregame show is but I think he just said ‘Put away the
distraction of losing his daughter-in-law …’ I mean … what the
If he had said "nappy headed ho' " or "Obama faggots", he'd be
gone so fast doors would suck off the hinges.