If Tony Romo Did Almost Say The N-Word, Shannon Sharpe’s Response Made Black Twitter Uncomfortable

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo might have thought twice before saying a racial epithet live during the AFC Conference Championships as an NFL color commentator. Now the world is left wondering what he meant to say as a viral video of former TMZ reporter Van Lathan watching the game with friends has begun circling the internet. In the video, Lathan suggests that during a replay Romo was on the cusp of saying the N-word.

“Let’s be fair, let’s watch it one more time and see if he was about to say “n****r,” Lathan says to the camera. “Aight, let’s be fair to Tony Romo. Let’s be fair.”

Uh-Oh, Romo

It all started near the end of the pivotal Chiefs-Bengals game. Kansas City running back Isiah Pacheco made a huge catch. During the play, Mahomes passed the ball to the tailback, who evaded three Cincinnati defenders and picked up some extra yards, to Romo’s elation.

“The extra yards, the tough yards, the finish on the play,” Romo said during the game. “Right there, you got three n–,” Romo said during the replay. Although he stopped at the “n,” it felt to Lathan like Romo was about to use a word that’s popularized culturally and colloquially as if “he’s used it before.”


Twitter was ablaze with speculation about Romo’s intentions, and a user asked Shannon Sharpe if he would talk about the incident on his “Undisputed” show. Shannon tweeted back, and his responses told about his view on Romo’s suspected gaffe.

“@ShannonSharpe y’all gotta talk about this on the show @undisputed it’s def a topic of discussion frfr !!!” Twitter user @Craig_Head1 posted.

Sharpe replied.

The Sharpe Opinion

“It’s (tv emoji). You get hyped and 4get sometimes where you are,” Sharpe tweeted back.

Another Twitter user shot back at Sharpe and came for him with a narrative prevalent in the culture that he makes white people, namely his controversial “Undisputed” co-host Skip Bayless, feel comfortable.

“So what! That means he says it when no one is around. Y’all letting these yts get too comfortable,” tweeted Twitter user @coordiNATE89.

Sharpe, who has been checking all disrespect lately, both to his co-host Skip Bayless after his ill-timed Damar Hamlin tweet and in person, and courtside against the Memphis Grizzlies and Ja Morant’s father Tee Morant at Crypto.com Arena, clapped back.

“What do you want me to do about how some1 talks when ppl aren’t around? What’s my role,” Sharpe tweeted back at the assumption of his moral obligation to hold Romo accountable in the future on television.

The Romo Effect

As CBS’s lead NFL analyst, Romo called his first game in 2017; Raiders at Titans. His uniquely affable style translated to the network signing him to a substantial 10-year contract in 2020 for $17.5 million per year. He was placed in a veritable broadcast training camp to help him round out and become an actual broadcaster.

“I did so many practice games on my own,” Romo said on the SI Media podcast in 2021. “I give CBS credit. We put together a plan as we went through it because usually you get hired, you do one game, and they see you, and you’re out there, and it’s like, ‘go ahead.’

“It was just trial and error and gaining an understanding of what I would want to hear. When I listened to it, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I am the worst announcer ever. I am so boring.’ I cringe, already listening to myself, but that, I was like, ugh, disgusting.”

However, Romo is here and calling big-time games. In the aftermath of this almost debacle, the real question is how CBS feels about football fans assuming his word choice.

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