ESPN Urges Motorists to Run Cyclists Down

Wow. Here’s a story that I saw this morning that stunned me. ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser and his buddies ranted for several minutes on their radio show about how cyclists don’t belong on the road, and actually encourage running cyclists down.

Lance Armstrong has attacked a US radio host on his Twitter page who urged motorists to run down cyclists. Photograph: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

This show obviously got the attention of many cyclists including Lance Armstrong. Here’s a story I found over on the Guardian: www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2010/mar/18/lance-armstrong-radio-host-idiot

Lance Armstrong has laid into an American radio host who claimed live on air that motorists should run cyclists down. Armstrong branded ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser a “complete f-ing idiot” on his Twitter page, saying the comments were “Disgusting, ignorant” and “foolish”.

Kornheiser, who has recently returned after being suspended for criticising a female colleague for “dressing too young”, launched into a rant about cyclists while discussing a new cycle lane in Washington.

“The last time I looked, the roads were made for automobiles,” he said. “We’re going to be dominated as if this was Beijing by hundreds of thousands of bicyclists …”

The broadcaster also attacked cycling clothes before urging motorists to run over those on bicycles.

“They all wear … my God … with the little water bottle in the back and the stupid hats and their shiny shorts,” he said. “They are the same disgusting poseurs that in the middle of a snowstorm come out with cross-country skiing on your block. Run ’em down.

“Let them use the right, I’m OK with that. I don’t take my car and ride on the sidewalk because I understand that’s not for my car … Why do these people think that these roads were built for bicycles? … They dare you to run them down.”

Armstrong, a seven-times Tour de France-winner, reacted furiously, posting: “Disgusting, ignorant, foolish. What a complete f-ing idiot.” He then later suggested his Twitter followers should write to ESPN to complain, after adding: “Tony Kornheiser on cyclists on the road, ‘run ’em down’. Really? Big mistake, Tony.”

Tony Kornheiser on cyclists on the road, “run ’em down”. Have a listen: ESPN 980 – Home of the Redskins (Listen to the March 11, part 1 segment and go to 31 mins in.)

I don’t watch ESPN or listen to this guy’s show, but I’m sure a lot of people do. Talk like this is dangerous, especially when spoken in the tone he uses. The part that really got me was when they said you don’t need to kill the cyclists, just give them a bump and make them crash. I can see the weak minded taking this advice to heart. What are your thoughts on the matter?

Here’s a link to send ESPN an email: www.espn980.com/info/contact_us.php

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16 thoughts on “ESPN Urges Motorists to Run Cyclists Down

  1. Here’s the email I sent ESPN. Feel free to use it!

    Your show where Tony Kornheiser urges motorists to “run cyclists down” is sickening. The cyclists that you encourage killing or maiming are real people. They are Americans. They are people’s husbands, wives, neighbors, or kids going to school. How will you feel if some of your knucklehead listeners take your advice to heart?

    Not only does cycling encourage an active, healthy lifestyle (isn’t that what ESPN is about?!?), cycling is a legitimate form of transportation and serves all ages and incomes.

    I encourage you to repudiate Kornheiser remarks, run public service announcements that promote sharing the road, and acknowledge that cyclists do in fact have the right to be on the road.

    Jeff Moser
    Carson City, NV

  2. OR we could just start riding our bikes on the sidewalk where we’re “supposed” to be, and then if walkers and runners get in our way, we’ll knock them over. Good plan, no?

    This guy is absurd.

  3. I have almost been hit a number of times by people that don’t believe bikes belong on the road. I yelled at one jerk on Kings Canyon road and he yelled back that I shouldn’t be on the road. I wonder how he or this so called radio personality would feel if that was their child or family member. This is another example of someone that needs to think before they speak.

  4. My take on your email with a little more heat.

    Your show, on March 11, 2010, where Tony Kornheiser urges motorists to “run cyclists down” is sickening. The cyclists that you encourage killing or maiming are real people. They are Americans. They are people’s husbands, wives, neighbors, or kids going to school. How will you feel if some of your knucklehead listeners take your advice to heart? This station should ask for Tony Kornheiser’s resignation at once! He is a disgrace to the ESPN Label and making an ass out of your station.

    Not only does cycling encourage an active, healthy lifestyle (isn’t that what ESPN is about?!?), cycling is a legitimate form of transportation and serves all ages and incomes. … See More

    I encourage you to repudiate Kornheiser remarks, run public service announcements that promote sharing the road, and acknowledge that cyclists do in fact have the right to be on the road. Additionally, he should resign as a figurehead for your establishment.

    1. I think it’s still interesting that he got time off work for a lewd comment, but got to get Lance on his show for inciting violence. I’ll put up a link as soon as I see one, or someone else can too!

  5. Having the experience of waking up in an ambulance in Las Vegas because someone “tapped” me was not a fun experience, and I was riding correctly with the flow of traffic. Some jerk kept going after the “tap”. Fortunately there was a witness and a police report filed so I was able to utilize the uninsured motorist insurance coverage on my car to cover my hospital bills and physical therapy. Unfortunately, the driver of my hit and run has never been apprehended. This ass of a radio show host needs a tap of reality.

    My compliments still go out to the professionalism and speed of response to Las Vegas Fire & Rescue and Las Vegas Metro Police.

    BTW: The most painful part of the experience was a sneeze that I could not hold back with broken ribs! And I continue to ride every opportunity I get.

  6. Shame on ESPN for having such person on staff. I don’t care if he apologized. He probably did it only after the advice from PR people anyway… what a jerk… I hope someone is going to “tap” Mr. Kornheiser one day too…

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