NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel has issued an apology for his reporting team not mentioning on air that gold-medal diver Matthew Mitcham is gay and has a partner:
"We regret that we missed the opportunity to tell Matthew Mitcham's story. We apologize for this unintentional omission."
The statement comes after an NBC spokesperson defended the network's decision not to mention it.
Zenkel's response was pretty short and sweet, but is this case closed? They blew it and acknowledged such (after, as I said, defending the decision).
Does Zenkel mean what he says? We'll see. Couldn't they make good by doing a story on Mitcham on one of their news or talk shows? That would ceratinly show a deep acknowledgment that they messed up.
The real test will come the next time they're faced with such an opportunity. Do the commentators mention next time that the athlete they're reporting on is gay? And now, at what point does NBC or any other media company feel the responsibility to mention someone's sexuality? I can't imagine that the softball or soccer commentators mentioned the sexual orientation of lesbian players out there (there were three out American lesbians between the two sports). But on the flip side, I haven't heard anyone getting up in arms about it. I wonder why.