Sunday, November 22, 2015

Key and Peele's Comment on Sports

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, of the hit comedic television show Key and Peele, are known to satirize various elements of American culture, focusing on race in particular. In their sketch “Racist Sports Commentator”, Key, Peele and Timothy Omundson all pose as football commentators in the studio. Key and Peele ask Omundson (the only white person in the sketch) his opinion on various football players, and Omundson’s responses become increasingly divided based off the race of the player in question. Omundson repeatedly identifies black players as “physically gifted… athletic” eventually progressing to “voodoo… magical powers he learned from his grandma”. In comparison, Omundson describes the white players as “hardworking” and “keenly analytical”.

Key and Peele make clear use of hyperbole to expose the mild racism prevalent in sports today. While no real sports caster would describe a black athlete with words like “voodoo”, black players are often praised for brawn over brains, even when this is clearly not the case. By overdoing the subtle racism of sportscasters, Key and Peele cause their viewers to be more aware of it in real life. This bias of focusing on the physical traits of black athletes may stem from the “brute” stereotype from when slavery still existed in the United States. In both cases (although definitely to differing degrees) African-Americans are portrayed as stupider and stronger than their white counterparts. Modern commentators should seek to eliminate this holdover from one of the darkest times in American history


  1. It seems like this situation occurs not just in sports, but in every aspect of media. Great post, I am glad I watched that skit.

  2. Thanks for posting this, I had never seen this skit before. It's funny but possibly not far from the truth. I can see how, especially in a hyper-masculine area like sports, people could generalize the aspects of black and white people in the game.