For all the time he spent in front of his viewers on television, there’s still much we didn’t know about Stuart Scott.
Keith Olbermann was there for Stu’s first day at ESPN2 in 1993 and he shared an amazing story about Scott standing up to race issues in the office in the early years.
After a former “superficial” executive called out Stuart Scott for his use of the urban expressions he started to develop over the course of a few years, he was told to refrain from using language “most of the audience didn’t understand,” or be fired.
Instead of reacting with anger, Scott responded by dedicating his weekly post on ESPN’s early website to praising his employer’s willingness to let him use his catchphrases.
In the article, he traced the history and meaning to some of his expressions as far as the days of slavery and thanked ESPN for respecting his racial heritage.
Stuart Scott took something that was unquestionably racial, arguably even racist, and decided against going to war with the company.
He killed them with kindness and Olbermann described this moment perfectly in his broadcast, saying,
It was the highest expression of professional courage and professional intelligence.
Because of Scott’s bold move, he helped change not only the course of sports broadcasting but the course of American media, too.
Olbermann had the utmost respect for his colleague and friend, Stuart Scott. As a tribute, he aired Stuart’s first sportscast, which aired on ESPN in 1993. You can watch it below.
VIDEO: Stuart Scott’s ESPN debut sportscast – our launch of espn2, 10/1/93 (warning: our attire could damage retinas) http://t.co/Z6GiiYF24i
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) January 6, 2015