Earlier tonight, after a day of work and teaching, I sat down with my dinner to watch the 10 p.m. ESPN "SportsCenter" (which was on ESPNews because of college football). It was a major sports day: playoff baseball featuring Yankees v. Twins and Giants vs. Braves; Randy Moss has his first day of work with the Vikings; among other stories.
But to me, the biggest story was the anchors. It was the first time, as far as I can tell, that two South Asians anchored the biggest sports news show in the land. What more proof do you need that America is changing than to see two non-caucasian, non-African-American anchors hosting a quintessential American TV show? Growing up in the U.S., I never saw South Asians on TV and could never have imagined the changes that have come to pass; I've documented some of those changes in a post on the eve of the "Slumdog Millionaire" Oscars victory.
Here's a photo of Kevin Negandhi, left, and Adnan Virk doing their anchor thing:
I wasn't the only one to notice. While I was taking the photo above, I got the following note from Amar Shah, a fellow SAJA member and senior segment producer at Mighty Oak Entertainment (and former ESPNer and "Page 2" contributor):
Just wanted to spotlight on ESPN tonight there was a South Asian tandem of Kevin Negandhi and Adnan Virk in the anchor chairs.
First time I've ever seen that. An Indian-American and a Pakistani-Canadian. Pretty bad ass.
More on Negandhi here and more on Virk here. The other South Asian anchor on ESPN is Anish Shroff (who had been a top three contestant on the 2004 ESPN reality show, "Dream Job"). Post your comments below.
Earlier on SAJAforum - SAJA sports webcasts (these are also examples of the changes around us):
- 2010: Sunil Gulati, president of U.S. Soccer and the most influential South Asian in U.S. sports
- 2010: Raj Mathai, one of the first South Asian sportscasters in the U.S. and sports director of NBC Bay Area
- 2009: Brandon Chillar of the Green Bay Packers, the only South Asian to currently play in the NFL; his agent, Jim Ivler, his agent; and Kevin Negandhi, ESPN anchor - 2009 Super Bowl Sunday
- 2008: Rinku Singh and Dinesh Kumar Patel, two non-baseball players from India, signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates to a minor-league contract
See other SAJAforum sports items here.
Post your comments below.