Apology not accepted

[Editor's note: ESPN's Tony Kornheiser ranted about cyclists on his March 11 radio show, and among various other comments he said, "I swear to you, it's all you can do to not run them down, like Wile E. Coyote, just run them over..."

The cycling community was understandably upset about these statements.

Lance Armstrong was one of the angry cyclists who had come across the Kornheiser remarks and he tweeted: "Listening to Tony Kornheiser's comments/rant on ESPN radio re: cyclists. Disgusting, ignorant, foolish. What a complete f-ing idiot." The 7-time Tour De france champion was subsequently invited to be on the Kornheiser radio show and during the show Kornheiser apologized and the two patched things up.

But sports writer Sal Ruibal does not accept the apology, and his Slowtwitch OpEd is below. -Herbert Krabel]

Sorry, but I don't accept Tony Kornheiser's phony apology.

That's the M.O. of these creeps: make an outrageous statement, say they're sorry and reap the higher ratings numbers.

I'm glad that Lance Armstrong took the time to get the global cycling community riled up about this, but in the end, Kornheiser got a lot of publicity and an invitation to go for a bike ride with the world's most famous biker. Not a bad day's work in the sports media business.

Lance doesn't live in my town, so he can forgive. I live in the D.C. area and ride here and don't want Kornheiser-inspired idiots trying to hurt me or my friends. Saying motorists should attack cyclists with their cars is pretty damn close to a terrorist threat. If his name was Abdul and he posted a rant that said Muslims should attack Americans with their cars, he would be on his way to Guantanamo in a heartbeat.

Oh, he was just kidding. He really meant to say they should just "tap" the bikers with their two-ton guided missiles.

Instead of riding with Lance, Kornheiser should be off the air for a few weeks. He can donate his sizeable ESPN salary for that period to local bike advocacy groups and spend his free time in an emergency room observing the real carnage that happens when a car hits a cyclist. That's no joke, Tony.

Another thing: I don't want him to get on a bike. He hasn't earned the right to share the streets and bike paths with cyclists AND cars. He might get killed out there by some idiot who heard another idiot on the radio suggest that cyclists were nothing more than Whack-A-Moles in spandex.

I'm also disappointed in ESPN. I have many good friends who work for ESPN and none of them would ever think about making the crazy talk that spews from some of the angry old men who dominate the network's daytime schedule. The ESPN that created the X Games and had the guts to feature mountain biking and BMX before they were Olympic sports wouldn't just let this pass.

Not too long ago, Kornheiser got a two-week suspension from ESPN for making crude comments about a female on-air colleague. For making threats against cyclists, he got Lance Armstrong on his show and probably an atta-boy from his producer. And will we see him back on Monday Night Football?

When Kornheiser was a sports columnist for the Washington Post, I respected his work. Now I don't even respect him as a man. That's because he has shown no respect for us.

Sal Ruibal covers cycling and action sports, among many other things, at USA TODAY.