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ESPN Tried to Shame Cuba's Slums But Instead Highlighted America's Own Sports Dystopias

Photo ESPN’s SportsCenter tweeted of the houses just outside a stadium in Havana (Twitter)
Photo ESPN’s SportsCenter tweeted of the houses just outside a stadium in Havana (Twitter)

ESPN’s SportsCenter tried to publicly shame President Obama today and his attendance at a Cuban baseball game by tweeting the photo above with the caption, “Meanwhile, next to the stadium in Havana...”

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Illustration for article titled ESPN Tried to Shame Cubas Slums But Instead Highlighted Americas Own Sports Dystopias

The implication was that there was poverty just outside the stadium where Obama was watching the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team. But the first response to the tweet reminds Americans that we have no right to get on any high horse about poverty. In fact, the conditions outside our own stadiums appear much more dire.

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Illustration for article titled ESPN Tried to Shame Cubas Slums But Instead Highlighted Americas Own Sports Dystopias

People started to tweet Google Street View shots showing the streets outside of major American stadiums.

Illustration for article titled ESPN Tried to Shame Cubas Slums But Instead Highlighted Americas Own Sports Dystopias

Deadspin’s Barry Petchesky pointed out that Willets Point, where the Mets play at Citi Field, doesn’t even have sidewalks or sewers.

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Illustration for article titled ESPN Tried to Shame Cubas Slums But Instead Highlighted Americas Own Sports Dystopias

So I guess before you start calling out Cuba for being poverty stricken, maybe sports commentators at ESPN should get out of their box seats and look outside some American stadiums.

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Illustration for article titled ESPN Tried to Shame Cubas Slums But Instead Highlighted Americas Own Sports Dystopias

Update 6:12pm: Bob Ley was just interrupted on live TV. Maybe they saw SportsCenter’s tweet at Google’s new tech center in Havana.

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Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog

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DISCUSSION

majmalfunction
Maj. Malfunction

Here’s the distinction:

People in Cuba are poor because Obama deigned to negotiate with a communist dictator. Never before has an American president opened diplomatic relations with a communist leader! Those pictures of Reagan meeting with Gorbachev are clearly just bad photoshops. Nixon didn’t really go to China, that’s a myth. And so by refusing to strictly enforce the embargo, Obama has sentenced those poor Cubans to perpetual life in slums.

Meanwhile, poor people in the U.S. have simply failed to properly apply their bootstraps to getting out of poverty, and thus they deserve it.