As ESPN apologizes for comments about Alabama QB's girlfriend, woman tells Today show she's not offended
ESPN anchor Brent Musberger drew a boatload of criticism after gushing over University of Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron's beauty queen girlfriend Monday, prompting the sports channel to issue an apology that "the commentary n this instance went too far."
But Katherine Webb, a current Miss Alabama whose Twitter followers jumped by 1,000 users a minute after Musberger spotlighted her during coverage Monday of Alabama's BCS championship win over Notre Dame, told NBC's Today show this morning she wasn't offended by the sportscaster's words and no apology was needed.
"The media has been really unfair (to Musberger)," Webb, 23, told Today anchor Matt Lauer. "The fact that he said we were beautiful and gorgeous...I couldn't see why any woman wouldn't be flattered by that."
(According to this story, she was more upset by tweets from Arizona Cardinals player Darnell Dockett, who sent over his phone number suggesting they visit a strip club together.)
“You quarterbacks, you get all the good-looking women,’’ Musburger said on air Monday, as cameras zoomed in on Webb and McCarron's mother. “What a beautiful woman. Wow!...If you're a youngster at Alabama,start getting the football out...” Analyst Kirk Herbstreit joined in, noting that McCarron had to be doing something right.
The discussion of Musberger's comments and ESPN's reaction has brought some curious media contortions. Some outlets featuring stories on the controversy, such as MSNBC.com and SheKnows.com, also featured photos of Webb in a swimsuit during her pageant competition. ESPN, which has faced its own struggles with allegations of behind-the-scenes sexism over the years, cut to shots of Webb often during the game.
Still the sight of a 73-year-old anchor gushing over a twentysomthing beauty queen drew lots of criticism, crossing a line for ESPN; spokesman Mike Soltys tweeted: "We always try to capture interesting storylines and the relationship between an Auburn grad who is Miss Alabama and the current Alabama quarterback certainly met that test," he added. "However, we apologize that the commentary in this instance went too far and Brent understands that."
All the attention may work out for Webb, who got a job offer from Donald Trump to help judge his Miss USA pageant.