Ad Watch | Sports

February 4, 2005

Misremembering Max

Max Schmeling's death didn't displace an ESPN ad that bungles the German boxer's history.


Max Schmeling, former world heavyweight boxing champion, died last week at the age of 99. Yet his death didn't displace an ESPN ad that bungles its history.

In celebration of Black History Month, the network is running a spot celebrating Joe Louis's first-round knockout of the German pugilist in 1938, after Schmeling had upset Louis in their first encounter in 1936. The ad ran several times on Friday, two days after Schmeling's death. The ads narrator calls Schmeling "the poster boy for Nazi Germany."

Sports symbolism is always a lousy way to address major world issues, but this symbol stands out as especially wretched. Schmeling was used as a PR pawn by Hitler and Goebels. He did fight for Germany in WWII—but only after he was drafted into service after he refused to join the Nazi party. In a true act of bravery, he hid the sons of a Jewish friend in his hotel room until they could be smuggled out the country (More about his relationship with the Nazis is at this PBS page).

Post a comment

Comment Rules

The following HTML is allowed in comments:
Bold: <b>Text</b>
Italic: <i>Text</i>
<a href="URL">Text</a>


- Ad Watch
- posted on Feb 05, 05

GELF is really a false website being used by Matt Drudge to get back at Ann Coulter after she jilted him for some hack sports writer at the Journal.

Just remember... you heard it here first.

Article by Gnuts

Contact this author