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HomeSportsCarragher and Abdo's Controversial Comments on CBS Trigger Uncomfortable Reactions

Carragher and Abdo’s Controversial Comments on CBS Trigger Uncomfortable Reactions

When Micah Richards isn’t laughing, you know you’re in trouble.

Jamie Carragher’s teasing of Kate Abdo, playfully hinting that she wasn’t loyal to her partner Malik Scott, was cringe-inducing.

If you caught it on CBS Sports Golazo during their coverage of Arsenal versus Porto in the Champions League, you likely remember the awkwardness. You may have winced, covered your eyes, or pulled your shirt over your head, Ravanelli style.

Even if you’re not in the US or don’t watch CBS’s Champions League coverage, chances are the clip found its way onto your social media feed thanks to CBS’s banter segments.

If you’re unfamiliar with CBS, host Abdo and guests Carragher, Richards, and Thierry Henry have transformed football coverage in the US. Their blend of analysis and banter is engaging and entertaining. Their camaraderie is palpable and contagious.

CBS leverages this by sharing the funniest moments on social media. If you’re in the UK and still browse Twitter, you’re probably more familiar with the humor than the analysis, especially the playful ribbing that often targets Richards for his lack of silverware despite his Premier League title.

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Henry may raise his eyebrows, Carragher may let out a loud exclamation, and Richards might exclaim, “Kate’s gone for BIG MEEKS.”

Nevertheless, it’s all in good fun.

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However, this time, Carragher’s banter didn’t make it to the CBS Twitter feed or their “best of our coverage” YouTube compilation. It was too uncomfortable.

Carragher, clad in an Arsenal top tossed from the crowd, suggests Henry and Abdo wear it next.

“I’m loyal,” she jests. “To who?” Carragher quips. “Manchester United, thank you very much,” Abdo retorts.

“Not to Malik,” Carragher interjects. Oh dear. Richards, usually quick with a comment, falls silent and looks down. Henry turns to Carragher. Abdo appears taken aback: “What… how could you say that?”

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Carragher nervously laughs and tries to justify that Malik’s name hadn’t come up on the show yet. It’s cringeworthy and lacks a Gary Neville disapproving groan.

The banter is nothing new, a staple of the show, but is it appropriate? Is it permissible? Even if it was meant humorously, is this the standard we want from broadcasters?

Or is it a case of crossing the line, a scenario likely when hosts and pundits are encouraged to create ‘banter clips’ for viral social media appeal?

“The format of our show is pretty lighthearted,” Carragher previously told The Athletic. “I’m just really determined to make good TV. Kate can push and some people want to be pushed.

“Some people I couldn’t say certain things to. That’s why we have that relationship where we feel we can each get away with anything. Everyone knows they’re fair game and if you leave yourself open you have to expect what’s coming.”

If they enjoy the show’s format — locker room banter for a mainstream football audience — and viewers appreciate it, is there an issue?

Well, in this instance, the line was crossed, and credit to Abdo & Co for skillfully addressing it at the start of the next night’s broadcast.

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