ESPN removed a
promotional ad featuring Shaquille O'Neal and sports
commentator Mike Breen, saying that it was never the
network's intent for the spot "to be offensive to
anyone or any community of people."
In response to
lobbying by organizations like the Gay and Lesbian
Alliance Against Defamation and the Human Rights Campaign,
as well as viewers who voiced outrage, ESPN
pulled the homophobic promo. The spot shows O'Neal
rejecting a "fist kiss" -- or fist bump -- from Breen.
After Breen called it a "fist kiss," O'Neal moves away
from Breen on the couch and says, "No fist kiss, no fist
love, no fist hump. None of that. You're a weirdo,
man. Stay over there. Fist kiss. Disgusting."
"Our intent is to
send a positive message about the camaraderie of
sports and to do so as creatively as we can," the network
said in a statement. "However, we understand your
perspective on this ad and would like to apologize to
the members of the gay community." (Michelle Garcia,