Last Wednesday, when Justin Timberlake hosted the ESPY Awards, he received mostly positive reviews for his first-time hosting abilities. The entire event went off hitch-free and was perfectly entertaining for those who love watching sports figures and entertainers ham it up at pointless awards shows. However, a report from SI's Arash Markazi on Monday suggested that there was one "blemish" during the event, when Timberlake was joking around with The Boston Celtics' Paul Pierce:
Justin Timberlake was teasing Paul Pierce about his "injured" knee in Game 1 of the NBA Finals during his opening monologue. In describing how Pierce quickly came back after being taken off on a wheelchair, Timberlake joked that Pierce was back on the court, "shucking and jiving."
Markazi said the comment was edited from the show due to the phrase's racial overtones. As long as it was out of sight to viewers, it's out of mind, though. ESPN officially told Deadspin it has "no comment" about the incident and "declines to elaborate" on the story. To be honest, I first saw the quote and thought "shuckin' and jivin'" meant "dinkin' and dunkin'" or "jukin' and fakin'" or something along those lines. Apparently, not.
Considering ESPN's track record in the last year with offensive comments, it was probably for the best.