Keith Olbermann Plugs Wrestling News World On ESPN2

We're going to veer off course for a moment and crossover into mainstream American sports. On Friday, I responded to a segment on Keith Olbermann's late-night show on ESPN2 regarding the US Men's National Team and the World Cup.

In an attempt to be funny, Olbermann shredded the US fans and soccer team on how they qualified for the Knockout round of the World Cup by winning, drawing and losing in a xenophobic rant. I responded on Facebook:

That wasn't my only reply. I wanted to get my Twitter followers in on the action so I Tweeted the following:

That was enough to warrant a response from the man himself. So what was his clever attempt to debate me? Mock professional wrestling of course.

Click here to watch Olbermann acknowledge the above and mock the business. You can also watch at 2:41 in the video embedded below:

I appreciate the plug. I wish he would have added the ".com" but I only received 2-3 Tweets about it to begin with, indicating Olbermann probably doesn't have a large viewing audience.

I'm a proud fan of Association football (I don't like the term soccer) and yes, I run a professional wrestling website for a living. I also love my country. However, Olbermann's humor isn't funny and it highlights a problem in America. It's the same problem that creates bullying. A bully is someone with low self-esteem so when they don't understand something, they feel threatened by it. So rather than showing tolerance and respect, they mock it. This represents one of the lowest forms of humanity and legitimatizes the stereotype that Americans are low-IQ bullies.

Even worse, this type of behavior encourages and cultivates platforms for discrimination. It's all fun and games when someone mocks soccer or professional wrestling but this is a problem the LGBT community deals with on a daily basis. It's the behavior that created some of the biggest black eyes in American history. Slavery. Segregation. Not allowing women to vote. The list goes on and on and it begins with the same type of mentality that Olbermann displayed in his attempt at humor.

It's time that not only Americans but all of humanity "get over" things they do not understand. Xenophobia is dangerous and it needs to stop. It's not funny, it's not cute and those that partake in such practices are not clever but ignorant. I'm not suggesting Olbermann is a homophobe or a racist but his mentality is what perpetuates such despicableness. He's probably desperate for viewers so he relegates himself to the childish high school jock mentality and that on the surface is pathetic.

3:45 PM EDT June 28, 2014 Update: Below is my statement on social media that summarizes my point derived in part from comments made below:

  • Avalanchian

    I personally love Keith Olbermann’s show. People need to just take it with a grain of salt and not get their undies all in a bunch. Everyone takes every so damn seriously. He knows what the US has done is like a moral victory for the US men’s soccer team, but it’s not really something that amazing for the most part. It’s no 1980 Miracle unless they were to win it all.

    Guess by what you wrote it makes me a bad person. I’m ok with that, because everyone has opinions.

    • I’m not sure I follow your point but just to clarify, Olbermann’s humor didn’t *offend* me. I just find it embarrassing (desperate?) and pathetic.

      • Avalanchian

        It’s how his show for the most part has always been. He’s talked his fair share of smack about hockey and other things. Yes he intentionally picks out things that he knows will strike nerves too. He does push the limits of things no doubt also. But it’s about them ratings and attention.

  • Kris Guenther

    Richard, know this is coming from a member of WNW, a long-time reader since 2007, and a wrestling fan of 13+ years. I have a lot of respect for what you do, while Keith, meh. He had his good days as a Political Commentator, not so much anymore. Anyways, Keith talked about you for 10 seconds, out of 6 minutes, for a joke. That’s it. He wasn’t xenophobic as he complete understands the sport and the culture from other countries around it. He just thinks the sport is a joke for how it’s structured in their version of the playoffs.

    That’s it. No reason to make a 9-paragraph post about how “non-offended” you were about his commentary. It’s all a joke at the end of the day. You might find the jokes themselves as embarrassing and pathetic, but you covering this on a website that doesn’t cover the sport, just to tell the man how pathetic he was and how “non-offended” you were is… quite embarrassing.

    • So Olbermann puts me on blast on national television and I write an article about his humor being the equivalent of a bad fart joke and I’m the embarrassing one? Nice try Kris.

    • It’s nice to see both sides man, I just wish I knew what made you form such a negative opinion of me. I don’t hate you though, in fact I appreciate you reading.

    • King James

      Olbermann, like most stupid americans can’t grasp the fact that there is a group stage before the knockout stages. I keep reading complaints on “how can a team lose and go to the next round”. Well you see that sh!t all the time in the NBA. It’s called the playoffs, it’s a 7 game series. Spurs lost one game against the Heat and were still World Champs. You’ll never see anyone complain about that. Soccer in 90% of the world is like a religion, the love for it is just as strong as the love some have for a deity. It needs to be respected no matter what your opinion of it is. What Olbermann is doing is equivalent to being a bully. It’s an elitist mindset that shouldn’t be tolerated. If you don’t like the sport than just leave it alone, no reason to demean those who love it.

  • Brandon van Reenen

    This Keith Olbermann loves to hear his own voice. Shocking how he went into people’s bios only to use that information to mock and degrade them.

    • Yep, the high school jock mentality. He can’t articulate a response so “haha, he’s a wrestling fan.” Dumb.

  • markbyrn

    Olbermann might be a bully and jackass in terms of his attitude but the point he made his pretty spot-on; the USA is a mediocre team that limped into the next round via a set of oblique tie-breaking rules. No one that’s rational would predict that the USA has any semblance of a chance to win the tournament; indeed, based on their current performance, they would be extremely fortunate not to be knocked out in the next game. Also, how do you compare Olbermann’s point of view (even if he is a soccer hater and condensing bully) with xenophobia and slavery? Such ridiculous hyperbole diminishes true evil; you might as well go full tilt loon and and throw out the Hitler card right you’re at it.

    • You’re missing the point.

      First, your football argument. The USMNT didn’t “limp” into the Knockout Round. You can’t limp out of the Group of Death. They played 3 of the best teams in world football and went through. No one gave them a chance and they did it, despite traveling more than any other team without one of their best players.

      Now to your “ridiculous hyperbole” point. It’s Olbermann’s pathetic mentality that I’m pointing out. You know, the “I don’t understand it, so I’m going to make fun of it” view. It’s the ammunition bullies use and it’s exactly the kind of thing that was used to justify some of the darkest days of US history.

      It’s not the acts I’m comparing, it’s the behavior that cultivates such acts.

      • markbyrn

        Hmm, the USA (ranked 13th in the world by FIFA) only won one game (beat a team that’s ranked 37th in the world), tied the 4th ranked team (Portugal) and lost to the #2 ranked team (Germany) but got through because they didn’t didn’t lose as badly to Germany as Portugal did. If that’s not limping into the next round, I don’t know what it is. Now to advance to the quarterfinals, USA only has to beat a team that’s ranked 11th in the world but of course they’re a 2-1 underdog, and it’s not because the oddsmakers are anti-USA Soccer Olbermann bullies. Again, don’t make absurd comparisons to slavery; logical fallacy may have been to justify slavery and other extreme evils but Olbermann engaging in ad hominem doesn’t mean he’s on same level as a proponent of slavery.

        • Don’t put too much weight on the FIFA rankings.

          Again, you’re zeroing in on acts I mentioned as a result of xenophobic behavior. There is no connection to Olbermann from said acts. To insinuate that is absurd. My point: xenophobic behavior isn’t funny.

    • King James

      Mediocre team? You must be English. We defeated Ghana who’s had great runs in these tournaments and tied against a #4 ranked team with arguably the best player in the world. Not only that, but the U.S outplayed them up until those last 10 seconds. Then we went on to hold our own against the best team in the world, Germany. The only mediocrity I saw in this tournament was powerhouses like Italy and England being booted off the tournament due to COSTA RICA.

      • markbyrn

        held their own against Germany? Let’s compare that to facts that I’ll quote: “The US had their worst game ever in a World Cup in terms of possession. Germany controlled 67.5 percent of the possession, the most they have had in the tournament so far. It was also the most the US have ever given up in a World Cup game” That type of stat is most telling and would indicate they’ll be dispatched sooner than later.

  • The Bops

    Olbermann is your typical “famous”, liberal hypocrite. He’s one of the first to accuse people of racism, sexism, homophobia, etc; but is in fact one himself. This idiotic rant about the US Soccer team and his response are perfect examples. Ignorance is bliss, and the smug, hypocritical, condescending Olbermann must be quite happy with himself.

    • I don’t think it matters liberal or conservative, in 2014, society as a whole has evolved past this sophomoric sense of humor. We’ve come to accept not everyone is *like us* and that’s OK. I’m not very familiar with Olbermann’s political stance but if he speaks out against issues such as racism, sexism or homophobia, he is absolutely a hypocrite. Olbermann’s xenophobic mindset disallows him from the “we are equal” stance. As stated, it’s his mentality that perpetuates such despicableness.

      • The Bops

        I didn’t mean to get “political” with the liberal comment other than to point out that Olbermann likes to point the finger but in fact does what he accuses others of doing. We should be past this kind of stuff. I’m a proud American but I don’t feel the need to belittle other countries. I may not be a Soccer fan, but I don’t feel the need to repeatedly point out that fact and belittle Soccer.

        • You are exactly right. My Tweet to Olbermann wasn’t malicious or disrespectful, I simply wondered why he felt the need to mock something he didn’t understand. This is the same response I would have to someone that mocked someone based on their perception of abnormal. Be it sexual orientation, gender, race, outside appearance, disability, etc. Society as a whole is sick of this type of thing and it’s not the fact that Olbermann “mocked soccer” or thinks it’s funny that I’m the editor of Wrestling News World, it’s the mentality that “I’m better than you because you don’t see the world through my eyes” that I cannot stand.

      • Josh

        “We’ve this We’ve that” Speak for yourself I’m a proud conservative and I don’t need someone telling me what I can and can’t believe in. Thankfullt there is other wrestling news sites.

  • David F

    I remember watching Olberman for ripping the Cubs for trying to take down the rooftop owners. His rant was a joke and he didn’t understand the whole situation with the Cubs trying to rebuild Wrigley. Olberman is a hack and a bully. I hope Bray Wyatt delivers Sister Abigail on Keith then I would be happy

  • Richard — congrats on this. I got into a similar match with the entertainment-based “The Wrap” for a headline stating something about the ratings showing that the midwest doesn’t support soccer. The article had what I considered to be negative aspersions to middle America (“here’s our admittedly snarky graph” and “if you live in Nebraska” lines, for example) — especially when you consider the city with the second highest ratings for the World Cup is Columbus, Ohio. (Last time I checked, that was hardly a member of the east coast establishment.)

    You are dead on that there are people who have the knee-jerk response to belittle what they don’t understand — or what they disagree with — in a self-righteous manner that displays their significant lack of self-esteem. Respectfully disagree all you want — that makes BOTH of us think more deeply. But, to mock shows a complete lack of integrity. The overwhelming number of responses on social media is probably a gauge of his true popularity in the marketplace…or not.

  • Evon Callaway Bitterweed Reese

    I’m a conservative. I love wrestling and most sports except soccer. I love my country. I’m not a racist. I can’t stand hypocrite Olberman

  • Whammaster

    I dont like the fact that you dragged sexuality and race into your statements. Those are sensitive subjects and to relate to them can be viewed as a desperate attempt to find examples to the situation. Other then that Olberman can be …. stupid at times, i still enjoy his content though, and i feel this was blown up way to much for what it was.

    • Whammaster

      hm, okay Olberman was a massive ass-wad in this, and he completely blew you off, so i can imagine the small bit of rage within you Richard.

    • Again, you’re reading this wrong. It’s the type of behavior that perpetuates such behavior.

  • King James

    I hate Olbermann so much for this. He’s pathetic. A man in his mid 50’s feels the need to “troll” an entire community for ratings sake. He’s the scum of the earth.

  • StanMorris

    If you don’t agree with Olberman, he slams you. That’s because he’s very small inside. Ironic that he would make fun of you for your news medium, considering that he has been fired how many times for having a failure of a television show? Surprised you even heard about this. I figure his biggest viewing audience is among blind cats that the sympathetic owners leave their television sets on for.