Seen here looking like Biggie Shorty’s fun slutty stoner cousin, Rihanna was the reason a CBS boardroom table was filled with people grimacing while nervously tugging at their shirt collars this week. According to Sports Illustrated (via Daily News), CBS had originally planned to open Thursday night’s game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers with Rihanna’s song “Run This Town” playing over a narration by Don Cheadle, because everybody loves RiRi and EVERYBODY loves Don Cheadle.
Then the video of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his girlfriend in the face in a hotel elevator surfaced. Rice was eventually dropped from the team and suspended from the NFL, but when shit like #ravensdomesticviolence and #ravenplayersfacepunch start trending on Twitter, opening a Ravens game with a song by one of the most famous victims of domestic violence might not be the most tasteful decision. So they pulled the song from the broadcast of Thursday Night Football and replaced it with CBS This Morning anchor Norah O’Donnell discussing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s recent comments about the Ray Rice incident.
CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus explained to SI why they decided to yank Princess Ooh-Na-Na’s gorgeous intergalactic voice from last night’s game:
“It’s important to realize we are not overreacting to this story but it is as big a story as has faced the NFL. We thought journalistically and from a tone standpoint, we needed to have the appropriate tone and coverage. A lot of the production elements we wanted in the show are being eliminated because of time or tone.”
I understand pulling RiRi’s song from the broadcast – that’s the biggest DUH this side of Planet NoShitSherlock – but why did they have to pull Don Cheadle??? He could have delivered that discussion on domestic violence! If anyone can make people sit up and pay attention with their smooth “guuuurl, this is important, so pay attention” voice, it’s Academy Award-nominated actor Don Cheadle!