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Twenty-year Oakland A’s play-by-play announcer Glen Kuiper has been terminated after speaking a slur during a pregame A’s segment on May 5.
Announced Monday, NBC Sports confirmed Kuiper’s firing with a statement: “Following an internal review, the decision has been made for NBC Sports California to end its relationship with Glen Kuiper, effective immediately,” the statement read. “We thank Glen for his dedication to Bay Area baseball over the years.”
Glen Kuiper Apologized, Still Gets Canned
The decision now spawns several questions; mostly around the timing after the A’s conducted “weeks” of investigation looking into Kuiper’s intent.
Kuiper claims he accidentally said the n-word during the telecast as he detailed his trip to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.
Moments after the on-air slur, Kuiper apologized to the television audience and admitted to misspeaking. Kuiper said, “I said something that didn’t come out quite the way I wanted it to. I just wanted to apologize if it sounded different than I meant it to be said. I just want to apologize for that.”
The announcer, who joined the team in 2004, was indefinitely suspended a day after using the slur. The A’s put out a statement to rebuke the announcer’s use of the N-word.
After weeks of silence about the broadcaster’s future, the hammer finally came down over the spoken term.
Glen Kuiper Addresses Firing
The 60-year-old released a statement on his firing.
Monday morning I was informed by an NBC executive that after a 20-year broadcasting career with the Oakland Athletics, my contract was terminated, effective immediately. The termination was due to the unintentional use of an offensive word on the air during the May 5 pregame show. On that day, I chose to spend my personal time by educating myself and learning more about MLB’s history by going to the Negro League Museum.
I spent nearly three hours there in an effort to better understand and more deeply appreciate the difficulties and social barriers African American players endured in MLB’s early years. When the subject of the museum visit came up in the pregame show, I was excited and eager to share what I had done and seen that day. In my excitement, I rushed through the word “negro” resulting in my very unfortunate mispronunciation. I sincerely apologize to everyone who was hurt by this. It was a terrible but honest mispronunciation, and I take full responsibility. Please know racism is in no way a part of me; it never has been, and it never will be.
I appreciate the Negro League Museum president Bob Kendrick and Oakland A’s great Dave Stewart’s public support of me in light of this. I am an honest, caring, kind, honorable, respectful husband and father who would never utter a disparaging word about anybody. Those who know me best know this about me. I wish the Oakland A’s and NBC Sports would have taken into consideration my 20-year career, my solid reputation, integrity and character, but in this current environment traits like integrity and character are no longer considered. I will always have a hard time understanding how one mistake in a 20-year broadcasting career is cause for termination, but I know something better is in my future. I love the game of baseball and I love being a broadcaster, and I love the Bay Area community. I hope I will be remembered for that. Thank you to all my family, friends and great A’s fans that have shown their support.
Did Oakland A’s Enforce Too Strict A Penalty?
Reactions to Kuiper’s on-air incident called for his job, but he also gained a swell of sympathizers.
As noted by OutKick’s Ian Miller, the A’s launched an investigation into the on-air slur but failed to provide any progress on their findings, possibly indicating the investigation was used to buy time before tossing Kuiper out on the streets.
OutKick’s Clay Travis has referred to this trend of firings as indicative of a society placing more stock into words over actions, thus upping the penalty for saying the wrong thing.
Though the real-time use of the N-word sounded shocking, proponents stepped up around the announcer and called for grace.
The president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum put out a statement to condemn the slur while also calling for forgiveness for Kuiper.
“I’m aware of the unfortunate slur made by Glen Kuiper,” President Bob Kendrick said in the statement. “I welcomed Glen to the NLBM yesterday and know he was genuinely excited to be here. The word is painful and has no place in our society. And while I don’t pretend to know Glen’s heart, I do know that my heart is one of forgiveness. I hope all of you will find it in ourselves to do the same!”
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3 CommentsLeave a Reply
Changing cities won’t make the A’s any less of a woke joke…
He never had a prayer of keeping his job.
It was the wrong move. Kuiper was great. I listened to him the entire time he was with the A’s. Don’t care about others opinions