Here is Hank Bauer, who is as much a part of the San Diego Chargers team as Dan Fouts, making a joke about Jewish people being cheap. So cheap, in fact, that they would fight over a penny until it turned into copper wire.
A lot of people talk about Hank Bauer. He's a former player and a colorful personality. I've met him once, but do not claim to know him. That being said, I've heard more than a couple of stories about demons that he has battled since the end of his playing career. He is, in that way, a typical ex-NFL player.
I do not think Hank is a racist or a bigot, nor do I think he's an anti-Semite. I do believe he's a guy with a blue sense of humor, and someone that may not immediately realize why someone might take offense to a joke like this. In this way, he is a typical ex-professional athlete. I'm sure what he said was said "in good fun."
That being said, there's a reason why punishment exists. It is to prevent bad things from happening again in the future. To send a message, if you will. And Hank Bauer deserves to be punished for the joke he made during the radio broadcast of the Chargers/49ers preseason game, regardless of his meaning or intention.
Anti-Semitic jokes are not funny and they're not tolerable. They're a way to put down a group of people that have faced persecution in more than one instance in history. They're a way to look down on a group of people as less than.
If this joke were to go ignored and unpunished, it would send a message that any and all employees of the San Diego Chargers, XTRA 1360 FOX Sports San Diego, and ROCK 105.3FM are free to make bigoted remarks without punishment, spreading hatred without fear of retribution.
Is that really the message those organizations want to send?
My suggested method of punishment is to put Bauer in a small room with no windows or cameras with former Chargers, and Jewish Americans, David Binn and Antonio Garay and then force him to tell all of the anti-Semitic jokes he knows.
(I'm kidding, of course. You see, that joke did not disparage anyone or insult a large group that any person is affiliates with. That is what a joke should be. Not the disgusting display you heard above, that does nothing but spread unfair and negative stereotypes about Jewish people.)
One final note: People are pissed. It's not just me. I only caught on to this story after seeing at least a dozen tweets about it from angry fans. Bauer's Wikipedia page has even been updated to say the following:
During a preseason game in 2014, Bauer told an offensive "Jew joke" towards broadcast partner Josh Lewin, yet Bauer is still employed.
This is a situation that will need to be handled, and swiftly.