ESPN viewers were appalled on Saturday after an announcer made insensitive comments regarding death of a college football coach’s daughter-in-law.
Carley McCord, 30, died in plane crash in Georgia shortly before LSU Tigers offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger took to the field and was later seen wiping away tears.
But as he hugged players before they won the game against the Oklahoma Sooners 63-28, Matt Barrie was broadcast calling the tragedy a ‘distraction’ for Ensminger.
‘Certainly our thoughts and prayers are with coach and his family, as he gets to do his job and try to put away the distraction of losing his daughter-in-law just hours before kickoff,’ Barrie said on the air.
ESPN’s Matt Barrie (left) said LSU Tigers offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger was trying ‘to put away the distraction of losing his daughter-in-law’ as they played the University of Oklahoma on Saturday
Carley McCord (right) died in a plane crash before kickoff and viewers were appalled by the commentator’s words after he said ‘thoughts and prayers with coach’ Ensminger (left)
One social media user said: ‘Jesus ESPN can we not categorize the loss of human life, especially one that’s family, as a “distraction”?’
Awful Announcing posted in respond the comment: ‘”The distraction of losing his daughter-in-law” I mean, holy s**t.’
‘No idea who this dude on the ESPN pregame show is but I think he just said “Put away the distraction of losing his daughter-in-law …” I mean … what the hell,’ shocked tweeter Adam Gretz responded.
Another social media user added: ‘Jesus ESPN can we not categorize the loss of human life, especially one that’s family, as a “distraction”? Come on…’
Alex Kirshner said: ‘Let’s not refer to an LSU assistant coach losing one of his children in a plane crash as a “distraction” from the football game at hand.
‘The football game is the distraction, not the death of a child.’
ESPN and Barrie didn’t appear to immediately address the criticism.
Barrie (pictured) spoke as Ensminger hugged players before the game against Oklahoma
A Twitter user called on ESPN producers to ‘fix this’ after the comment that offended some viewers
But some social media users didn’t see a problem with the comment and others believe Barrie didn’t mean to sound insensitive
However some were on Barrie’s side and said he didn’t mean anything offensive by his words.
‘There was way more said during that segment that WAS empathetic…you chose to point out ONE word that someone attempting to empathize, chose that didn’t quite nail it for you?’ one follower chimed in.
Another added: ‘No one feels worse than me for Coach E (everyone feels as bad) but, I didn’t take statement in that context. I don’t believe he meant ANY harm, at all.
‘Quite frankly, Coach O made a statement prefacing this b4 the game to Holly Rowe. I believe this is more about the way women compartmentalize vs men & neither are wrong in a tragedy as this Coach E had 2 temporarily put the tragedy behind him or not coach and clearly, he did that.’
The tweet referred to LSU Coach Ed Orgeron saying in an interview with ESPN host Rowe: ‘We heard the news. I told coach Ensminger, our thoughts and our prayers are out to him. There’s not much we can say.
‘Obviously, Steve, his wife, and his family are very distraught. But Steve’s a Tiger, and he’s a man, and he knows how to handle things’
Asked before the game whether Ensminger would coach in the 2019 Peach Bowl, Coach Orgeron confirmed: ‘There’s no question.’
Widowed Steven Ensminger Jr also showed support for his father working Saturday as he shared a tweet reading: ‘Prayers to coach ensminger and his family. go get em today, coach your ass of for her.’
LSU Coach Ed Orgeron (center, with Barrie third from right) said in a pregame interview with ESPN: ‘We heard the news. I told coach Ensminger, our thoughts and our prayers are out to him. There’s not much we can say’
The head coach added about Ensminger (pictured wiping tears Saturday): ‘Obviously, Steve, his wife, and his family are very distraught. But Steve’s a Tiger, and he’s a man, and he knows how to handle things’
Widowed Steven Ensminger Jr (right) also showed support for his father working Saturday as he shared a tweet reading: ‘Prayers to coach ensminger and his family. go get em today, coach your ass of for her’
The NTSB said the plane crashed roughly a mile west of the Lafayette Regional Airport after leaving the airport. Smoke from the crash filled the sky above
Five people died Saturday after a small aircraft crashed en route to Atlanta for a college football playoff game.
The plane came down near a post office and Walmart in Lafayette, Louisiana, hitting a car, flipping it over and then slamming into a tree at 9.22am.
Louisiana sports reporter McCord was on her way to the Rose Bowl, where Louisiana State University was playing the University of Oklahoma, and was among the dead along with pilot Ian Biggs, 51, Robert Crisp II, 59, Gretchen Vincent, 51, and her son Michael ‘Walker’ Vincent, 15.
Stephen Wade Berzas, 37, who was also on board, survived and has been hospitalized. He is in a critical condition.
Three people on the ground were injured including a person who was either in or near the vehicle the plane crashed into. Two people in the post office were also treated for smoke inhalation.
Witnesses said that the plane hit a power line while trying to make an emergency landing, KATC reports.
Local resident and eyewitness Kevin Jackson told KLFY: ‘I was right outside before the crash. I noticed (the plane) was low and smoking like hell.
‘It shook my trailer. I knew something was bad. I went in my house, and all you heard was this massive explosion.’
Victims: Pilot Ian Biggs, 51, (left). Right, Gretchen Vincent, 51, and her son Michael ‘Walker’ Vincent, 15
Robert Vaughn Crisp II, 59, also perished in the crash with Louisiana sports reporter McCord on the way to the Rose Bowl
Both the FAA and the NTSB will be conducting a full investigation.
Jackson told the news outlet the plane hit a car, adding: ‘Someone was screaming from that car. There were little explosions for five minutes or so after that. There was a big old ball of flame.’
Several businesses in the area have reported that they have lost power as a result of the plane crash.
The Walmart near the crash was evacuated as a precaution. Windows from the US Post Office were blown out.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) identified the plane as a Piper Fixed Wing Multi-Engine aircraft. Cheyenne Partners LLC, a company based out of Lafayette, owns the plane.
The NTSB said the plane crashed roughly a mile west of the Lafayette Regional Airport after leaving the airport.
The plane came down near a post office and Walmart in Lafayette, Louisiana, hitting a car, flipping it over and then slamming into a tree at 9.22am