The Thing About Sports Humor — It’s Not Always Funny

In honor of his charitable work, the City of Baltimore renamed a street after Baltimore Raven Ray Lewis.

SportsPickle.com never has and never will position itself as a serious sports information website. Instead, it sticks with pithy, grab-ass commentary regarding current events from the sporting world, and you’re supposed to laugh because it’s all so witty.

DJ Gallo is the creator of Sports Pickle . He also moonlights for ESPN.com’s Page 2, which has featured more reputable writers like Hunter S. Thompson, Chuck Klosterman and Bill Simmons. What I’m trying to say is DJ Gallo, by his own hard work and the good graces of others, is in a position to provide thoughtful commentary to the never-ending sports dialogue. And on Sunday, here’s what he had to offer:

Was this Gallo’s handiwork? There’s no way of knowing, but it’s his brand, and therefore, his responsibility to avoid publishing incendiary trash like this.

@sportspickle — presumptively Gallo — was referring to the NFL’s effort to raise breast cancer awareness. Players were invited to wear pink-laden gear for their games, be it gloves, shoes, wristbands or baseball caps. Lewis, along with other players like Peyton Manning and Eli Manning, simply chose not to wear pink.

Here’s the thing — sports has lent itself to humor since the first athlete took a hit to the crotch. Sports — especially pro sports, involving grown-ass, maladjusted men — will always provide humor writers with ample material. That said, the “pro-cancer” remark from @sportspickle was completely unnecessary and in poor taste.

Look at Lewis’s charitable background. He’s won numerous humanitarian awards for his work with disadvantaged youth and lobbied to expand opportunities for disabled athletes. There are certainly some unsavory chapters in Lewis’s history, but joking he’s “pro-cancer” when it’s possible he’s lost loved one from it is completely naive and shameless.

Sports Pickle continues on, unscathed, but I wonder if ESPN shouldn’t reconsider employing a guy like Gallo. It was a simple lapse in judgment, but all the more avoidable.

Mr. Gallo, no matter how well-meaning the attempt, you must realize not everything can be made into a joke. Not everything has to be funny. Quality over quantity, my friend.

I’m curious to how Lewis would respond if he saw that tweet.

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