ESPN Announcer To Black NASCAR Crew Member: "Tap Dance For Us"

Illustration for article titled ESPN Announcer To Black NASCAR Crew Member: Tap Dance For Us

Continuing the racial insensitivity we've come to expect from ESPN, a race announcer finished an interview this weekend with NASCAR crew member Kenyatta Houston — who is black — by asking him to "tap for us" before the race. Seriously.


This weekend's NASCAR race at Pocono was delayed at the start by rain and the ESPN team was forced to fill the first 30 minutes of the broadcast with banter and discussion. At approximately 1:38 PM EST, they start an interview with the "over-the-wall reporter" for the day Kenyatta Houston — a pit crew member for Kevin Harvick and graduate of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program.


The conversation is fairly normal until, out of nowhere, one of the broadcasters says: "We call this in the television business the tap-dance and people know we can't dance. Can you... gotta little tap for us down there?"

Houston, for his part, is able to whip up a short dance before returning to work. It was an odd moment and Jalopnik readers weren't the only one to notice. Matt McLaughlin over at Front Stretch also picked up on this strangeness and noted the double standard:

During the rain delay, an ESPN broadcaster asked a black crew member if he could tap dance. Oddly enough, I can't recall any white crew members being asked to do so.

Funny, we can't either. Can anyone identify the voice of the broadcaster? The main announcers are Rusty Wallace, Allen Bestwick, and Brad Daugherty with Andy Petree, Dale Jarrett, and Marty Reid on the play-by-play.

UPDATE: Some of our commenters think it's Marty Reid. We agree, it sounds most like him.


(Hat tip to Steve!)

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Fred Astaire was never on a pit crew.