Dear KNBR: A small request

8 Nov

I’m sure you guys have all heard about Damon Bruce’s rantings from yesterday’s show. If you haven’t, I urge you to check out the summaries posted on Awful Announcing and Bay Area Sports Guy. Just keep tissues or some gauze handy so you can make sure to wipe the blood from your ears after listening to the audio.

Bruce’s comments that were clearly misogynistic (and I almost never use that term) with some key quotes being:

This is guy’s stuff. This is men’s stuff. And I don’t expect women to understand men’s stuff anymore than they should expect me to be able to relate to labor pains.

I enjoy many of the women’s contributions to the sports—well that’s a lie [lauging]. I can’t even pretend that’s true. There are very few—a small handful—of women who are any good at this at all. That’s the truth. The amount of women talking in sports to the amount of women who have something to say is one of the most disproportionate ratios I’ve ever seen in my life. But here’s a message for all of them…All of this, all of this world of sports, especially the sport of football, has a setting. It’s set to men.

I’m willing to share my sandbox as long as you realize you’re in MY sandbox.

I’m sure the reaction Damon Bruce is seeking is extra ratings. I’m not entirely sure if he ACTUALLY feels this way or if he is trolling listeners and trying to get a reaction, but I think the former might be worse.

I don’t stick my nose into many issues of the political nature, but one thing I do take a stand for is equality. It sounds intense but I’m talking about the core fundamentals of the issue – that every person on this earth should generally be regarded with the same respect and standards – gay, straight, transgender, Mexican, Asian, German, Jewish, man, woman, fat, skinny – whatever. Being upset with the issue doesn’t make you a feminist – it makes you a person who is insulted by offensive statements. And that’s exactly what Bruce’s show was yesterday: offensive.

I wrote a letter to station manager/program director Lee Hammer today. I’ve discovered via numerous complaints to companies like Comcast and United Airlines that these notes should be short and to the point. A lot of you have been asking me to post my email, and here it is:

Hi Lee,

Happy Friday to you.
I wanted to reach out as I’m one of the (many) listeners that was taken aback by Damon Bruce’s rant against women on yesterday’s 1st hour segment.
I have listened to KNBR since I was sitting in the backseat of my father’s car and continue to enjoy hosts like Brian Murphy, Kate Scott, Ray Ratto, and Marty Lurie. I’ve even been a guest on Marty’s show a few times.
Unfortunately, the outlier for KNBR has become more obvious with yesterday’s show and Damon Bruce’s extremely offensive comments against both women and women writers. While sports is categorically a “mans” domain, I’m sure you know that the Giants fan base is in large part comprised of females. As the flagship station of the Giants, I’m hoping that something will be done to help remedy the relationship that Bruce has damaged to an otherwise insightful station.
Thanks for your attention on this matter.
Let me be clear about something. I am not asking for Damon Bruce to be fired, or even suspended. I’m just asking for the issue to be addressed in some way. Bruce has a right to his opinion (however misguided I find them) but for there to be zero discussion or repercussions against the matter would be viewed as a silent endorsement from the station. As I pointed out in the letter, the Bay Area is chock full of female sports fans – I’m willing to bet more than most major cities. For them to ignore the issue entirely would be perceived as a slap in the face to fans who have supported the station and whether or not this actually affects the ratings, KNBR’s brand perception would most definitely be tainted. Deadspin has already picked up the topic nationally and I’m guessing no one at the station is looking for that type of publicity.

As a woman sports writer (albeit an amateur one), I’m hoping that one day there will be less surprise from the general masses when a woman is knowledgable about sports. The more smart writers we have out there, the more we all have to gain, no matter what gender they are.

If you feel the same, I encourage you to write to KNBR as well to voice your opinion. There will probably be no tangible outcome but it’s therapeutic and at least you know you you tried and said your piece.

Here’s where you can reach Lee Hammer:

Sorry for the seriousness – I’ll post some weird GIFs later to reset the tone on this blog.

8 Responses to “Dear KNBR: A small request”

  1. Garrett November 8, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    Use that power of the pen; errr keyboard. Nicely done.

    The knuckleheads have come out of the woodwork lately. You don’t need to bully the bullies. You need to show them for who they are. Continue to use your wit, sense of humor, and class.

    Your “Challenge” podcast buddy,


  2. Andrea November 9, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    Like most people, I was taken aback by Damon Bruce’s comments. And I do think it was a cry for ratings (which makes it all that more pathetic). But as a female sports fan (and KNBR listener), I was disappointed that this issue wasn’t addressed by KNBR management. I will email KNBR making my feelings known. This is the first post I’ve seen from a female sports writer’s point of view, so thank you for sharing.

  3. Jay November 9, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

    When you say Damon Bruce “has a tight to his opinion”, do you really mean it? Your remarks indicate to me that you’re not calling for a debate on this subject, but instead suggest some form of censorship. I assume that’s what you intend with your thinly veiled, “some repercussions against the matter”. Never heard it put quite like that.

    It’s ironic, because I don’t agree necessarily with the indelicate way Bruce chose to express his opinion. And there are a number of very talented women in this market – Jayme Sire and Kate Scott among them. But it’s Talk Radio for God’s sake. And, I do think it’s intellectually dishonest, if not self-righteous, to call for public sanctions.

    Just voicing my opinion, and hoping to avoid repercussions against the matter for doing so.

    • jbroy2 November 10, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

      He has a right to his opinion but doesnt have a right to the 12-3 slot. I’d give him 2 – 4 week suspension because some things aren’t acceptable. But that’s my opinion and now that it’s a national story I doubt that will happen.

      Public sanctions are embarrassing but if you’re in the media and aren’t sanctioned publicly that’s the same as telling the listeners “we’re just fine with everything Damon said.”

  4. Nate November 10, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

    I’ve listened to DB for years and think he is the best KNBR has to offer – until recently. NO WAY this was a ratings grab. He is too egotistical to stoop that low. He’s been talking down to his audience for months now. I think the only way he saves his job is with an apology and his ego won’t allow that. He had a chance to backtrack Friday afternoon and didn’t take the opportunity. His “I’m always right, you’re a moron” attitude will be his downfall. HIs biggest mistake was to throw every female media member under the bus, forgetting he talks to a fair number of them for his show.


  1. More on the Damon Bruce debacle | Gamer Babe Bullpen - November 11, 2013

    […] clear up any misconceptions from my previous article on Bruce, I’m totally on board with saying what you want and voicing your opinion, but saying […]

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