Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell had an altercation with Giants fans during batting practice before Saturday’s game in San Francisco. Famed gay rights attorney Gloria Allred is accusing him of making homophobic remarks and lewd gestures toward one set of fans and then threatening another fan who complained about it with a bat. MLB is investigating. McDowell apologized for his actions.
Here is the alleged initial confrontation.
McDowell is accused of asking three Giants fans in the stands, “Are you a homo couple or a threesome?” He is accused of using two fingers and the small end of a baseball bat to simulate sexual intercourse, among other lewd comments and gestures, including thrusting his hips back and forth in a sexual manner.
That was only the initial incident. Here is McDowell’s alleged response when Giants fan Justin Quinn reminded him there were children in the audience, after he allegedly overheard him ask the three fans if they were “giving it to eachother up the ass.”
Allred said McDowell called back: “Kids don’t [expletive] belong at the baseball park.” She said McDowell picked up a bat and walked toward Quinn in a threatening manner, asking: “How much are your teeth worth?”
Assuming that depiction is accurate, that’s worse than Kobe Bryant being inadvertently caught on camera calling a referee a faggot. His alleged acts were directed at a spectator. It was both physical and verbal. It was literally referencing homosexuality and portraying it in an insulting fashion. The only thing helping him was that it wasn’t on camera. Kobe was fined $100,000.
Oh, and he allegedly swore in front of children because someone asked him not do so and allegedly threatened a fan with a bat, lamentable and punishable in its own right.
No one would confuse a baseball clubhouse with a den of tolerance. The less time spent soliciting and analyzing career baseball guy’s opinions on grand societal issues the better. McDowell’s personal beliefs are irrelevant. The problem is this alleged incident happened in the public with fans. He represents a multi-million dollar industry. Replace “Braves pitching coach” with “ESPN Analyst” or “Any Other Profession.” Roger McDowell is no longer employed.
One could understand an immature player, maybe, but McDowell is a man. He’s 50. He has been around heckling baseball fans since the mid-1980s.
This won’t die down. Selig can’t look soft on homophobia after Stern dropped the hammer on Kobe. Expect a substantial suspension.
[Photo via Getty]