ESPN's Bob Griese Apologizes for Taco Joke

Jokes that Colombian speedster Juan Pablo Montoya was "out having a taco."

By Carlos Miller
|  Sunday, Oct 25, 2009  |  Updated 5:42 PM EDT
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ESPN's Bob Griese Apologizes for Taco Joke

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Former Miami Dolphin quarterback and ESPN analyst Bob Griese stuck his foot in his mouth Saturday by joking that Juan Pablo Montoya was probably "out having a taco."

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You would think that after all those years playing for the Miami Dolphins, Bob Griese would know that just because somebody has a Hispanic surname doesn’t necessarily make that person Mexican.

Nor does it necessarily mean that person’s diet is restricted to tacos.

But that didn’t stop the ESPN analyst from sticking his foot in this mouth during Saturday’s Ohio State/Minnesota game.

The network had displayed a graphic to promote Sunday’s NASCAR that listed the top five drivers.

Missing from the list was NASCAR speedster and Miami resident Juan Pablo Montoya.

“Where is Juan Pablo Montoya?” asked color commentator Chris Spielman.

“He’s out having a taco,” Griese responded with a hearty laugh.

Montoya is actually from Colombia, where tacos are not part of the national cuisine.

And even if Montoya was Mexican, would he really be out having a taco?

Griese ended up making an awkward apology towards the end of the game.

“NASCAR … Juan Pablo Montoya, you know he’s one of the gr — uhhh, best drivers in NASCAR,” Griese said. “I just wanna apologize for the comment I made earlier in the ballgame.”

ESPN also released a statement.

“During today’s telecast of the Ohio State-Minnesota college football game on ESPN, analyst Bob Griese made an inappropriate comment when discussing NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya. Bob apologized during the telecast, and plans to apologize again during ESPN’s college football programming after his plane lands. ESPN has spoken to Bob and he understands that his comment was uncalled for.”
 

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