There was a bit of controversy during ESPN’s broadcast of Auburn-Tulane yesterday. The announcer for the game made a mistake that offended a number of Auburn fans, and has now apologized.
Play-by-play commentator Jason Benetti apologized for comments he made about a tribute to former Auburn broadcaster Rod Bramblett.
During the portion in question, Benetti noted a group of fans with a spelling out “Ride for Rod,” which he joked about, saying it was being attributed to his broadcast co-host Rod Gilmore. He was apparently unaware of the tribute to Bramblett.
“They’re spelling Rod by the way… That’s very nice. It’s for Rod Gilmore. They’re spelling your name. They’ve got a heart for you. I mean that’s just for you,” he joked.
Benetti ended up apologizing when he released what it was for.
Here is Benetti’s apology, per AL.com:
“We showed the student section earlier today, and I made mention of my partner’s name, Rod Gilmore, while we were showing the letters that spelled out Rod and a heart on somebody’s chest… The day Rod (Bramblett) died… I have a number of friends that knew Rod very closely. You work long enough in the media field, and you get to know people through others. Rod was a dear person, and I apologize for putting any further sting to a death that was so important to the Auburn family.
Bramblett and his wife died in a car crash earlier this year. The team has since worn a patch on their helmets commemorating his contributions to Auburn athletics.
Auburn went on to win the game, 24-6, extending their record to 2-0 on the season.