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NBC Ignoring the London Paralympics

Right now the 2012 London Paralympics are going on.  Thousands of disabled athletes are competing in various sports.  Many countries around the world are showing the events on TV.  And in the USA; the NBC Sports Network is showing Canadian Football.  Yes; instead of showing our athletes who worked hard to qualify to get to the Paralympics the NBC Sports Network is trying to get the American Audience hooked to the Canadian Football League.  Their football is different by the way; there are 110 yards including a 55 yard line in the game.  Plus their goal posts is right on the touchdown line.  Birmingham used to have a CFL team for one year called the Barracudas but that did not last long.

NBC was criticized for their tape delay coverage of the regular Olympic Games.  And now they are being criticized for the lack of coverage of the Paralympic Games.  Sure they are going to show a couple of one hour specials for one week on their sports network.  And they will show a 90-minute wrap-up after the Paralympics are over.  But I find this is as a disgrace for all people who have a disability.  Dick Traum, president and founder of Achilles International, a New York-based organization that supports athletes with disabilities, said in an interview. “They could also be doing great things for the disabled community by bringing more focus on it.”  But Chris McCloskey, a spokesperson for the NBC network, said they are “presenting all the coverage that our rights permit.”

At least I am not the only one who is criticizing NBC.  Aimee Mullins, the chef de mission of the US Paralympic Team, called the lack of coverage “disappointing.” The UK Disabled People’s Council called the lack of coverage “really, really appalling.”  An online petition was launched by Damon Herota of Florida.  He told the Daily Mail “It’s a sign of disrespect, especially to those military veterans who are competing. Attitudes are supposed to have changed since the days of Vietnam, when veterans were ignored. What message does this send?”

I find this action by NBC as an embarrassment and a disrespect to all people with disabilities.  It’s like having NBC say “we don’t care about people with disabilities, they all should be sent off to la-la land.”  Many of the people competing in the Paralympics are military veterans who were injured while serving their country.  It is also like having NBC say “we don’t care about our military veterans.  They should sit on the streets.”  I checked the NBC Olympics website today and there is no mention of the Paralympics on their front page.  It’s like they just don’t care.

There are great organizations in Alabama who care about the disabled community.  Lakeshore Foundation is a training site for the Paralympic athletes and the facility has helped to train many athletes to compete in the Paralympics.  Plus places like Glenwood and the Alabama School for the Deaf and Blind provide opportunities for the disabled.  Other countries around the world like Channel 4 in Great Britain are showing hundreds of hours of Paralympic Coverage.  Their video called Meet the Superhumans is inspiring!

If NBC does not want to show the Paralympic coverage why would other networks like ESPN not step up to the plate?  Oh that’s right; we have to talk about college football all week-long and show numerous games on Saturday.  I understand the need to show college football on Saturdays but for the rest of the week they could show some Paralympic coverage.  I hope in 2016 either NBC or another network will show more Paralympic coverage.  Because they deserve the recognition for all their hard work!  Just like me; I have Asperger’s Syndrome and I want people to see the good things that I do instead of being ignored.  I am still searching for my 14th job in seven years and have been unemployed for 14 months now.  I really don’t want to take the Social Security Disability route because I have something to show.  I just wish more people would take people with disabilities more seriously instead of just blowing them off.

You can watch many live events of the London Paralympics on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/user/ParalympicSportTV.

By the way here are some awesome pictures from the Paralympics Opening Ceremony I took off from the live broadcast on YouTube.

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6 replies »

  1. Over here (UK), Channel 4 got the rights to the Paralympics and created 3 new channels for it on TV, so unless it’s lunch/dinner time, there’s always at least one sport you can watch (or the highlights and interviews on regular channel 4).
    When I first read about NBC’s minimal-at-best coverage of the Paralympics, I was pretty shocked, the US Paralympic team is so huge, why wouldn’t they get behind their athletes?

    Also, thank you for the pingback 🙂

  2. Yeah it’s sad that NBC doesn’t care about our Paralympic team. But this story is creating a lot of anger among sports fans and its my hope that either NBC or another network will step up to the plate during the 2016 Paralympic games in Rio. At least I watch some coverage every day on YouTube. Thanks for commenting!

  3. You’re very welcome. If you can get onto it from the USA, you may be able to watch the coverage from channel 4 here from tvcatchup.com (just remember and put in a UK address if it asks you).
    Either that, or rojadirecta (can’t remember the extention, so if you google that) has multiple streams for each of the events 🙂

  4. I am glad that YouTube is providing live coverage. NBC used YouTube during the Olympic Games and during the major events they put in ads. I watched a lot of coverage from the BBC.