Sexually Violent Sports Analogy Not Acceptable, Says Canadian Broadcast Standards Council

Ottawa, May 28, 2003 – The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) today released its decision concerning a sports report broadcast on CJAY-FM (Calgary) on September 17, 2002. The CBSC Prairie Regional Panel concluded that the use of a sexually violent metaphor was inappropriate for broadcast.

In reporting the previous night's NFL football game score, the announcer stated that the “Redskins got bent over and fisted by Philly 37-7.” He followed that statement with “Can you feel that?! Can you, baby?!” A listener complained to the CBSC that the reference to “fisting” was “crude, obscene and disgusting”.

The Prairie Panel examined the complaint under Clause 9 (Radio Broadcasting) of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) 2002 Code of Ethics which requires that radio programming not contain gratuitous violence or unduly sexually explicit material. The Panel found that the combined effect of sex and violence in the sports report constituted a breach of that clause, particularly since it was aired at 7:20 am. The Panel made the following comments:

The suggestion that one team “got bent over and fisted” by another is obviously metaphorical, but it nonetheless creates an image of sexual violence. While an intent to convey dominance in reporting a sports score is understandable, the linking of such dominance to a sexual scenario in this context is both unnecessary and unjustifiable. The sexual connotation of the statement was further emphasized and exacerbated by the announcer's succeeding interjections “Can you feel that?! Can you, baby?!”. The Prairie Panel thus considers the qualifying comments to be gratuitous.

[…]

There was no attempt to mask the sexual meaning with double entendres or innuendo. The sexual reference was obvious and would likely have been widely understood by the majority of the station's listeners.

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All CBSC decisions, Codes, links to members' and other web sites, and related information are available on the CBSC's website at www.cbsc.ca. For more information, please contact the CBSC National Chair, Mme Andrée Noël CBSC Executive Director, John MacNab