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Paul Finebaum apologizes for calling Miami a ‘third-world program’


Legendary radio host Paul Finebaum called Miami a “third-world program” on Tuesday after a caller brought up news reports that the Florida band director was attacked by a Miami fan after the two teams played on Saturday night. He apologized Wednesday, after his ESPN colleague and Miami native Dan Le Batard said he was “vigorously demanding a clarification” on what he called “coded dogwhistle language.”

Finebaum described his language as “unfortunate,” saying it was “hurtful... for that, I sincerely apologize to Miami fans and the University of Miami. I wish I could take it back, but I can’t."

It’s a familiar cycle for Finebaum, who has long walked a tightrope with the most reactionary elements of the SEC fanbase. He doesn’t outright embrace them, but his show is first and foremost a platform for the callers, who say things like Tuesday’s caller did: “At least no one was shot, I guess.”

To his credit, when Finebaum screws up like this, he at least sometimes apologizes rather than whining about the snowflakes melted by his scorching truths. In 2016, in a debate about Colin Kaepernick, he claimed that “This country is not oppressing black people.” He later said that “I blew it... it was a terrible mistake on my part.”