Montoya team co-owner: Griese was 'just joking'

BY foxsports • October 25, 2009

Prior to Sunday's Sprint Cup race, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing co-owner Felix Sabates addressed the comments former Miami Dolphin Bob Griese made during the ESPN broadcast of the Ohio State-Minnesota football game on Saturday.

When the network was cross-promoting the NASCAR race during the game and displayed the top five drivers, announcer Chris Spellman noted Juan Pablo Montoya's absence. Griese, an ABC/ESPN commentator, quipped, "He's out having a taco."

Griese expressed regret toward the end of the broadcast, released a subsequent apology and attempted to call Montoya to express his regrets.

Sabates, a Cuban American who used to reside in Miami, considers Griese a "very good friend," and said he believes Griese's remarks were a poor attempt at humor.

"I think he was just joking," Sabates said. "I didn't take it too serious. He needs to get his geography corrected because they don't have tacos in Colombia. Other than that, I don't see anything wrong with it. He was just trying to be funny.

"Bob is such a great guy, sometimes he says stupid things. How many times have I said stupid things? (On national TV?) Hell, yeah there. How about Dover, Delaware in 1990 when I called Dave Marcis a frickin' idiot on national TV. Then I had to apologize for the frickin' part and then the idiot part. I was wrong by doing that — but he wrecked Kyle (Petty).

"I know Bob — well, well, well, well. Bob would never say anything like that as a racial slur. That's just not him. Bob is not the funniest guy in the world but he's straight-forward. I think he probably tried to put some humor into it and it backfired on him. No big deal. No harm. No foul."

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