Al Trautwig

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Al Trautwig (born February 26, 1956) is a sports commentator with the MSG Network, NBC, NBC Sports Network, and USA Network. He does the pre-game and post-game shows for the New York Knicks and New York Rangers, as well as fill-in play-by-play for both teams.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Trautwig was a stick-boy for the New York Islanders in their early days in the NHL and a ball boy for the New York Nets when they played in the ABA. Both teams used the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York for their home games. He graduated from H. Frank Carey Junior-Senior High School, in Franklin Square, NY. As a 22-year-old recent college graduate, Trautwig called New York Apollo soccer games on WBAU 90.3 FM, a student-run radio station on Long Island.

Broadcasting career[edit]

In the 1980s, Trautwig hosted USA Network's coverage of the National Hockey League; one off-beat feature that he did was to interview a water fountain. He occasionally guest hosts the NHL on Versus studio program Hockey Central. He also anchored several MISL games from 1978 to 1992.

Trautwig was one of the original hosts for Classic Sports Network when it was founded in 1996.

The 2000 New York Sportscaster of the Year, Trautwig has covered the last eight Olympic games, and has won New York Sports Emmys for his coverage of the Yankees, Knicks, and Rangers. From 19912001, Al was host of the New York Yankees' pre- and post-game shows on MSG Network, and also was in the booth for a few innings per game. In 2006, he hosted the new MSG show called Al Trautwig's MSG Vault, which featured vintage and sometimes discovered lost footage of the New York Knicks and New York Rangers from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

In addition to his current duties, at the beginning of the 2006 football season Trautwig became a radio host as well, hosting the radio version of NBC's Football Night in America for Westwood One, which co-produces the show (called NBC NFL Sunday) with the network. However, Trautwig left the show in the middle of the season.

He also hosts NBC's coverage of the Ford Ironman World Championship, Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3 and ING New York City Marathon.

Cycling and tennis commentary[edit]

He has co-anchored coverage of the Tour de France (from 2004 to 2007 on Versus (formerly OLN) and in the 1980s for ABC), the Olympics, and NBC's coverage of the Arena Football League. Despite his years of experience as a broadcaster, he was sometimes criticized by cycling fans, for his occasionally uninformed commentary, and his tendency to compare the Tour to various mainstream sports he covers.[1]

From 2005–2008, he also co-anchored USA Network's coverage of the US Open tennis tournament. Trautwig also had a cameo in the movie Cool Runnings as an announcer for the bobsled competition. He now co-anchors the US Open's live feed during the tournament.

Gymnastics commentary[edit]

Since 2000, Trautwig has taken over the spot long covered by John Tesh of hosting U.S. national and international gymnastics competitions, including the 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympic games. Trautwig's co-hosts include former Olympic gold medalist Tim Daggett, former Canadian champion gymnast Elfi Schlegel, three-time Olympian John Roethlisberger and 2008 Olympic champion Nastia Liukin.

Trautwig has stated that, at the urging of NBC producers, his gymnastics commentary focuses on the personal stories of the gymnasts,[2][3] and that he does not spend time learning about particular moves, such as the popular women's vault the Amanar.[4] During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he described a gymnast's pre-Olympics injury as "like having a tear in your wedding dress right before you walk down the aisle.”[5] His commentary has resulted in some in the gymnastics community criticizing Trautwig long before the Biles controversy at the 2016 Rio Olympics, particularly on the popular online forum for gymnasts known as The Gymternet.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12]

Controversy regarding Simone Biles at the 2016 Rio Olympics[edit]

As a gymnastics commentator for NBC at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Trautwig characterized the parents of three-time world champion Simone Biles as "her grandfather and his wife," stating that "she calls them mom and dad."[13] Biles's parents are Ron and Nellie Biles, who adopted Biles and her younger sister in 2003, having raised them since 2000 when Biles was three years old. Prior to Trautwig's on-air statement, Biles had repeatedly made clear that Ron and Nellie were her parents in interviews and on her social media accounts.[14][15] When a Twitter user notified Trautwig of his on-air misstatement, Trautwig tweeted, "They may be mom and dad but they are NOT her parents."[16][17][18]

Trautwig's tweet "sparked a furor" online[19][20] including a response from Aimee Boorman, Biles's coach and Head Coach of the 2016 U.S. Olympics Gymnastics team, who told Trautwig, "actually they are her parents."[21][22] USA Today's article of Trautwig's tweet was shared over 240,000 times and generated thousands of comments on social media.[19] Numerous other media outlets, except NBC, reported on the story, causing it to trend on social media.[23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37]

Trautwig quickly deleted the tweet at NBC's ordering,[38][39][40] expressed "regret" for not being "more clear" in his wording, and set the record straight by explicitly stating that Ron and Nellie Biles are Biles's parents, but did not officially apologize.[41] The controversy and subsequent handling by NBC resulted in renewed calls for Trautwig's termination[42][43] and angered adoption advocates nationwide.[44][45][46][47][48][49][50][51][52]

Biles, who later won gold medals in the all-around and team competitions at the 2016 Rio Olympics, declined comment except by stating, "My parents are my parents and that's it."[53]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 3, Team Rider (2009-04-09). "Versus Cycling Commentary, Part Two". Team Two Wheel. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  2. ^ "Women's Gymnastics Deserves Better TV Coverage". The New Yorker. 2016-08-09. Retrieved 2016-08-12. 
  3. ^ VanDerWerff, Todd (2016-08-12). "NBC's coverage of the Olympics is atrocious. There's a simple reason why.". Vox. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  4. ^ "NBC's Al Trautwig Apologizes for Comments on Simone Biles's Parents -- Update". www.morningstar.com. 2016-08-08. Retrieved 2016-08-12. 
  5. ^ Reeve, Elspeth (2016-06-29). "Welcome to the Gymternet". New Republic. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  6. ^ Mc, Author Rick (2016-08-08). "the gymternet hates Al Trautwig". Gymnastics Coaching.com. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  7. ^ "NBC's Al Trautwig apologizes for comments on Simone Biles' parents". Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  8. ^ Reeve, Elspeth (2016-06-29). "Welcome to the Gymternet". New Republic. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  9. ^ "Top 10 : Biggest assholes in gymnastics". Gymtruthteller's Blog. 2013-11-26. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  10. ^ Kamiya, Gary. "Memo to NBC gymnastics commentators: Shut up!". Salon. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  11. ^ Mrr (2008-05-28). "Polished Gymnastics 101: The NBC Commentators Who They STILL Haven't Gotten Rid Of". Polished Gymnastics 101. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  12. ^ Mc, Author Rick (2016-08-08). "the gymternet hates Al Trautwig". Gymnastics Coaching.com. Retrieved 2016-08-14. 
  13. ^ "NBC's Al Trautwig may know gymnastics, but he needed schooling on who Simone Biles' parents are". 
  14. ^ Reporter, Ryan Grenoble; Post, The Huffington (2016-08-08). "NBC Announcer Says Simone Biles' Parents Aren't Her Parents, Immediately Regrets It". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  15. ^ "Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) | Twitter". twitter.com. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  16. ^ "NBC's Al Trautwig in twitter flap over comment about Simone Biles' adoptive parents". Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  17. ^ Brady, Erik (2016). "NBC's Al Trautwig criticized for comments on Simone Biles' adoptive parents". USA Today. Retrieved 2016-08-08. 
  18. ^ Brady, Erik; Axon, Rachel (2016). "NBC's Al Trautwig apologizes for comments on Simone Biles' adoptive parents". USA Today. Retrieved 2016-08-08. 
  19. ^ a b "NBC's Al Trautwig criticized for comments on Simone Biles' adoptive parents". Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  20. ^ "Everyone's Outraged Over This Reporter's Comments About Simone Biles' Parents". 2016-08-08. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  21. ^ Reporter, Ryan Grenoble; Post, The Huffington (2016-08-08). "NBC Announcer Says Simone Biles' Parents Aren't Her Parents, Immediately Regrets It". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  22. ^ "USA Gymnastics names women's gymnastics coaches, team captain for Rio". USA Gymnastics. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  23. ^ "NBC's Al Trautwig in twitter flap over comment about Simone Biles' adoptive parents". Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  24. ^ "NBC announcer slammed for comments about Simone Biles | Fox News". 2016-08-08. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  25. ^ Outrage over Al Trautwig's comments about Simone Biles - CNN Video, retrieved 2016-08-13 
  26. ^ "NBC analyst criticized over comment about Simone Biles". Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  27. ^ "NBC analyst Al Trautwig criticized over comment about Simone Biles' parents". Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  28. ^ Staff, AOL. "NBC gymnastics announcer criticized for comments on Simone Biles' adoptive parents". Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  29. ^ "NBC analyst criticized over comment about Simone Biles". Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  30. ^ "Rio 2016: NBC's Al Trautwig criticized for tweet about Simone Biles' parents". Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  31. ^ "NBC Analyst Slammed Over Simone Biles Comment". www.msn.com. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  32. ^ Larimore, Rachael (2016-08-08). "Why Does NBC's Al Trautwig Refuse to Call Simone Biles' Adoptive Parents Her Parents?". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  33. ^ "Outrage over Al Trautwig's comments about Simone Biles". www.msn.com. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  34. ^ "Everyone's Outraged Over This Reporter's Comments About Simone Biles' Parents". 2016-08-08. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  35. ^ "Look: An NBC Announcer Said What About Simone Biles's Adoptive Parents?". Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  36. ^ "Olympics pundit won't call Simone Biles' adoptive parents her parents". 2016-08-08. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  37. ^ "NBC analyst criticized over comment about Simone Biles". Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  38. ^ "NBC announcer says he regrets tweet about Biles' parents". Retrieved 2016-08-12. 
  39. ^ Author, AP (2016-08-08). "Al Trautwig says he regrets tweet about Simone Biles' parents". Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  40. ^ Whitson, Kevin (2016-08-08). "Watch: NBC Host Says The Unthinkable About Olympian - Immediately Forced To Apologize". Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  41. ^ "NBC's Al Trautwig apologizes for comments on Simone Biles' parents". Retrieved 2016-08-12. 
  42. ^ "petition: Remove Al Trautwig for Being Terrible at His Job!". Retrieved 2016-08-12. 
  43. ^ "Twitter Calls for Olympic Commentator's Firing Over Simone Biles Comments - Video Dailymotion". Dailymotion. 2016-08-08. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  44. ^ Press, Associated. "NBC announcer says he regrets tweet about Simone Biles' parents". Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  45. ^ "I adopted, so that makes me Mommy". Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  46. ^ "NBC Announcer Says He Regrets Tweet About Gymnast Biles' Parents". Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  47. ^ "What NBC's Al Trautwig should know about Simone Biles and her parents". 2016-08-08. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  48. ^ Bien, Louis (2016-08-10). "Simone Biles, not a TV commentator, decides who her parents are". SBNation.com. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  49. ^ "'Do you know who your real parents are?'". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  50. ^ Rousselle, Christine. "NBC Commentator Al Trautwig Owes Adoptive Families Everywhere An Apology". Townhall. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  51. ^ "A Letter To Al Trautwig From A Mom By Adoption". 2016-08-10. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  52. ^ "Simone Biles shouldn't have to clarify who her 'real' parents are | Toronto Star". thestar.com. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  53. ^ "Simone Biles Responded To A Journalist's Offensive Remark With Absolute Class". 2016-08-12. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 

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