A CNN segment went fully off the rails on Sept. 15 when Fox Sports radio host Clay Travis made a comment so randomly offensive that it stopped host Brooke Baldwin dead in her tracks.
Travis was on air with Baldwin and journalist Keith Reed to discuss ESPN's response to Jemele Hill's comments calling Donald Trump a white supremacist, which she has since apologized for sharing publicly. Both Trump and White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders have called for Hill to be fired in the wake of her comments, raising an important debate about the First Amendment, ethics, censorship, and race. Ostensibly, those were the topics Baldwin intended to discuss during her show, but Travis had other designs.
Travis first attempted to argue that while he didn't really think Hill should be fired, ESPN had a duty to let Hill go because of a precedent they set when they axed former host Curt Schilling following a transphobic Facebook post he shared. Travis's argument was already on shaky logical ground, and then he chose to completely torpedo any shred of credibility he may have had, making a statement more befitting of one of the fourth graders on South Park than a professional sportscaster.
"I believe in only two things completely: the First Amendment and boobs," Travis said.
Baldwin, who was understandably flabbergasted, had to ask him to repeat himself. "Hold on, hold on. I just want to make sure I heard you correctly and as a woman anchoring the show," Baldwin jumped in. "What did you just say? You believe in the First Amendment and b-double o-b-s?"
"Boobs. Two things that have only never let me down in this entire country's history. The First Amendment and boobs."
Baldwin and Reed — who also happens to be a friend of Hill's — were both incensed, and rightfully so:
Don't watch Clay Travis say sexist crap. Watch Brooke Baldwin shut it down. pic.twitter.com/mNoodf7NqV— Eric Morrow (@morroweric) September 15, 2017
While it might be easy to write off Travis's comments as immature and buffoonish — which they certainly were — they also displayed a total disrespect for Hill, the gravity of her situation, the seriousness it deserves, and for the female host of the show and human women everywhere. Both Baldwin and Reed took to social media after the segment was cut short to further share their distaste for what went down.
Now, we'll just have to wait and see if Fox Sports follows Travis's recommendation that ESPN fire its controversial staffers by handing him a pink slip all his own.