FCC okay with Red Sox player swearing on air


Today marked the first Boston Red Sox game since the individuals behind the Boston Marathon bombings were no longer fugitives. As the Red Sox prepared to meet the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park, Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz addressed the crowd in a speech carried live on MLBN, as well as regional network NESN and radio stations WEEI 850 and WUFC 1510.

In the speech, Ortiz talked about the efforts and thanked Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick and the city’s police department.

Then, in the bit of the speech that has the internet abuzz, Ortiz said “This is our f---ing city! And nobody's going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong.” 

Almost immediately following Ortiz's f-bomb, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski took to the government agency's Twitter - and gave the big man a free pass, Tweeting "David Ortiz spoke from the heart at today's Red Sox game. I stand with Big Papi and the people of Boston - Julius".

Now, I have a real question about this - swear words are okay in certain circumstances? I mean, how can the FCC fine some one or a network for saying something similar in a situation that is passionate? When standards are compromised, can you ever really go back to what was?

What do you think?


- David Ortiz

Written by: Hamatosan
Apr 20th, 2013, 6:08 pm

Images courtesy of MLB Network



Level 67 (98%)
Points: 51122.4
Mood: apathetic
Since: 12/Jan/08
Message Posted On Apr 21st, 2013, 12:31 pm

I am surprised, I thought all "live" sporting events ran on a 5 to 10 second delay. This covers accidental profanity, bloopers, etc. as well as to prevent even something as simple as coughing from being broadcast. The FCC was between a rock and a hard place with this one. If they fined Big Papi during this emotional event, the FCC chairman might be looking for a job. But having let this one slide, they have set a precedent and might end up in court the next time they want to levy an "obscenity" fine.


Level 1 (64%)
Since: 13/Nov/10
Message Posted On Apr 20th, 2013, 7:50 pm

And yes, I often watch UK and Australian TV, and they swear quite often......not to mention they show nudity that would result in MASSIVE fines and outcry here.  It's strange how sheltered we have become as far as the media is concerned.  As long as there is fair warning that a show is going to contain these elements, I have no issue with it.  It is a parents' responsibility to censor media they think is inappropriate for their children.  And if someone wants to censor their own viewing and finds certain things offensive, that is fine........but don't fight to ensure NO ONE can watch that material.


Level 1 (64%)
Since: 13/Nov/10
Message Posted On Apr 20th, 2013, 7:46 pm

Well I remember years ago when listening to a popular radio station that had hip-hop artists freestyle live, they would frequently warn the participants that it was ok to swear during the freestyle, but not as part of the planned interviews.  Apparently because the freestyle wasn't scripted and was considered live, unplanned art.  If that is truly the case, perhaps the speech could be considered the same..........


Level 4 (93%)
Since: 02/Aug/12
Message Posted On Apr 20th, 2013, 7:32 pm

So any live broadcast is fair game for swearing?

I personally do not have a problem with swearing - I have a problem with consistency and fairness. If its okay for Ortiz, it has to be fair for others too.


Message Posted On Apr 20th, 2013, 6:56 pm
Baseball games don't have a "time delay," nor is Ortiz an "on air" personality. It's equally likely that the FCC took into consideration the pushback from the courts regarding "outburst" or "unintended" violations. Having said that, perhaps we need a collective enema where censoring is concerned. Ever watch a European, or UK broadcast?
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