[UPDATE: Following a storm of protest, Michael Smith has now issued an apology for the comments below. Via Twitter, he said: "I apologize for my insensitive remarks re: the TdF crash. I recognize my comments were inappropriate given the serious nature of the crash." ]
EPSN sports host Michael Smith has 95,200 followers on Twitter and last night he shared his thoughts on the Tour de France crash where a TV car chose to hit cyclists in the race rather than hit a tree.
"For real, am I wrong for laughing at that Tour de France crash? Can't get over the driver speeding off as if he didn't know he hit someone!" he tweeted.
When complaints started coming in, he wrote: "I'm sorry that crash is hilarious. Every. Time."
He got support from some quarters but some of his other followers said they were shocked at his comments. He then tweeted: "It had far been too long since I'd angered an entire community. Today I've managed offend cyclists everywhere. Guess what? It's still funny."
A blog campaign to unseat him from ESPN was grist to his mill, and he retweeted the campaign, knowing that ESPN executives would be happy one of their anchors was causing controversy, generating web hits.
He was slightly less gung-ho when a follower said: "Our family doctor's son was hit by car and killed while cycling. Just because #tdf cyclist didn't die doesn't make it funny."
He replied: "I'm very sorry to hear that. But let's go down the list of things we laugh about that are rooted in unfortunate truths, shall we?"
Here's a video of the crash in question:
The driver - and the car - were thrown off the Tour de France and French police are still deciding whether to press charges.