We get it, some names are just hard to pronounce.
We've all been there. Whether it was the first time you tried to pronounce Mike Krzyzewski, Dustin Byfuglien or Louis Oosthuizen, every sports fan has struggled to correctly read out at least one name in their lifetime.
CNN news anchor Zain Asher had her own awkward — albeit less forgivable — run-in with some tricky athlete names when doing a hit ahead of the NBA All-Star Game last weekend.
Asher, host of CNN news program One World, couldn't quite wrap her head around the names of some of the NBA's top African players, stumbling through "Giannis Antetokounmpo," "Joel Embiid" and by far the funniest of all, calling Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam "Pascal Shakeem."
— CNN (@CNN) February 17, 2023
Siakam, ever the good sport, laughed about the misstep on Twitter.
Yoooo pascal shakeem is crazy 😳💀 https://t.co/ypcZ9lj7aU
— pascal siakam (@pskills43) February 23, 2023
The Internet, however, did not let the anchor off so easy, having a field day with the gaffe, roasting Asher's pronunciations and imploring on-air personalities to do their homework before going live.
paschal shakeem gonna be my new alias when i check into hotels
— Travonne Edwards (@Travonne) February 23, 2023
you couldnt go on basketball reference and practice???
— Jays Enthusiast (@gReenbean_26) February 23, 2023
The station after she pronounced Bam Adebayo correctly and didn’t miss on all of them pic.twitter.com/B1ax2yv2uk
— RJ Barrett Fanatic (@PlayoffBoundNYK) February 23, 2023
— RN2 / ロベルト 🇶🇦 👉🏾🙎🏾♂️ (@VieuxRN2) February 23, 2023
Asher, a British journalist of Nigerian descent, can find solace in the fact that even sports broadcasters struggle with certain names. Disgraced former Hockey Night in Canada analyst Don Cherry made a career out of butchering even the simplest names in hockey (if you don't believe me, here is 27 minutes worth of evidence), or how NBA on TNT's Shaquille O'Neal could not be bothered to properly read out players' names on his Shaqtin' A Fool segments.
So if any Raptors fans spot a few "Shakeem #43" jerseys in the crowd at the next Raptors game at Scotiabank Arena, you'll have Zain Asher to thank for the laughs.