Gabby Douglass needs Aretha Franklin

By Gary Norris Gray BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: August 7, 2012

Gary Norris Gray BASN Staff Reporter

OAKLAND, CA (BASN)–Once again, a fine African American Athlete was tested by the fires of the American Sports media who put their spin on everything that Gabby had accomplished… African American athletes cannot win, meaning Blacks have to eat, sleep, walk, and talk like the majority inhabitants of America and if they don’t conform to the norm, they are made outcasts and misfits by American society.

GABBY DOUGLASS, YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL BLACK QUEEN. STAY STRONG MY SISTER because your life in public has just begun. Do not let this small incident impede your stride.

Maybe it is time to boycott The NBC Sports Network. They are trying to be like ESPN and failing miserably… NBC has no shame .. After watching the London Games Thursday night August 2,2012 and the great victory of Gabby Douglass capturing the Women’s All Around Award, NBC went into attack mode. They aired a commercial for their new fall programming “Animal Practice”, with a monkey hanging on the rings wearing an American Olympic uniform… Now whither you think it was an accident or not, NBC should be told this was incorrect to air this ad right after this outstanding young Black woman won gold for the United States of America.


How much hate is there in the USA to keep producing incidents like this while BLACKS continue to support this country by buying their products. It might be time for African Americans to make a financial statement.



Here is an assignment write down, all of the commercials aired each night and tell those advertisers that we are not going to buy their products until NBC makes a formal public apology to Gabby Douglas and the African American community.






The NBC executive staff tried to defy some of the criticisms with the following statement:


The network explained that the commercial was an advertisement for “Animal Practice.”

“Gabby Douglass’ gold medal performance last night was an historic and inspiring achievement,” said NBC Universal spokeswoman Liz Fischer.



“The spot promoting ‘Animal Practice,’ which has run three times previously, is one in a series with an Olympic theme which have been scheduled for maximum exposure. Certainly no offense was intended.”

Unfortunately for the network, it’s the second time during the Olympics that a promotional ad has proven troublesome. NBC ran a “Today” show promo showing swimmer Missy Franklin holding her first gold medal a few minutes before airing the race where she won it.


The statement/explanation/excuse was clearly everything but an apology.



It is interesting that NBC would go out of their way to tell African Americans that they (NBC) didn’t intend to offend Black people. Did anyone think that they offended African Americans deliberately? What the network needs to understand is that most offensive organizations are not deliberately ignorant, and even in the case where you accidentally offend or insult another party, an apology is more meaningful than simply thinking that your lack of intent lets you off the hook.


The political, racial, and social agenda has gotten worse in the United States since President Obama moved into the White House in 2008. Racism in this country has been increasing for years and are more open about speaking their minds. It is now politically correct to make racial comments and the NBC sports programming department should be ashame of themselves. A public apology is in order.

The media has always slanted African American achievements and have made many other racist statements through the years. The first assignment as you watch sports shows listen to the way they describe white athletes, then compared it to the words used to describe Black athletes. It just did not happen last weekend. This has been happening for over 60 years.

There is a history of nonsense. An athlete is an athlete be he/she Black, white, red, yellow or brown. Listen to the coded words used for black athletes day in and day out.. A stellar Black quarterback is not good enough, an outstanding Black starting pitcher is not good enough, a Black goal tender or center in the NHL is not good enough. One must remember these are all key positions in each sport. It is not an accident.

The American public understands two things MONEY and violence …



When we look at every movement that has occurred either through violence or boycotting. Its 2012 and it seems like little has changed.

The at the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement, The 1970’s Women’s Movement, and the 1980’s Disabled civil Rights Movement. Ask the Coca Cola Company about the Black boycott in the 1970’s when they did not have a Black executive. The Black boycott made them change their tone quickly. The Montgomery Bus Boycott of the 50’s brought the city to its knees because the Bus Company happened to be the city’s main employers.

A boycott is a very powerful political tool when used correctly. NBC needs to feel this weight, so they will never do another ludicrous act like this again. A simple apology would have ended it all, but in their arrogance, NBC wanted to just play it off as a mistake. WRONG!!!!

Trust me, it might have even been a slight oversight but when it happened NBC executives should have taken appropriate action.. They did not and it made it worse.. Next Question, What do African Americans want? It’s a simple public statement by NBC to Gabby Douglas and the African American Community.

One must understand the history, African Americans continually viewed as animals and this is just another example.


For those who still think NBC did not know what they were doing,…during the track and field events two days later, the Network changed the “Animal Practice” commercial. The Olympic monkey was not seen but the penguin took its place. Why? because they knew that African Americans would be watching over the weekend and they did not want to offend them or create more controversy.


Networks all over the country have prep meetings. This meeting is to discuss what will be on air and what subject will be on air before the days broadcast. A Black NBC intern could have stated that this was not a good idea… No, NBC played the commercial anyway and I still believe it was to get attention. Attention to get ratings and controversy from the African American community. Trying to be the new mainstream ESPN, they failed miserably. So far this was the lowest rated Olympic Games in 20 years. Why? Because NBC refuses to broadcast the games live.


To all of those who do not believe that NBC did this on purpose: check this out.

1) The games are on tape delay 4 hours in the east, 9 hours in the west so they had time to change the commercial. The question still remains why?


2) Calling Gabby Douglass a Flying Squirrel compounds the act of calling Black people animals. No, it’s not cute, Rocky is the only flying squirrel I know of and he is a cartoon character with his sidekick Bullwinkle the Moose. STOP IT.




3) The lame excuse that NBC stated a day after the incident makes it worse. An apology would have ended the controversy and people would have moved on with their lives. This was an insult on one of the best moments of another Black Athletes young life. Gabby Douglass you’re a superstar and the sky is the limit and the African American community supports you.

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod