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#pounditThursday, April 25, 2024

MLBPA angry over Colin Cowherd’s Dominican Republic comments


ESPN radio host Colin Cowherd made some controversial remarks about Dominican baseball players on Thursday, and more than a few people were upset by them.

Jorge L. Ortiz of USA Today reports that the MLB Players Association privately demanded an apology from Cowherd. A person close to the players union told Ortiz that Cowherd’s take was seen as “ignorant and offensive,” as was the lack of response from ESPN and FOX, which is Cowherd’s future employer.

The person, who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the topic, also said the lack of response from ESPN – and Cowherd’s future employer, Fox, has upset its members just as much as the comments, and they will consider withholding cooperation with the networks. ESPN and Fox are national rightsholders to major league games, and Fox carries its jewel events, the All-Star Game and World Series.

On Friday, Cowherd tried to clarify his comments but stopped short of issuing an apology.

“I understand that when you mention a specific country, they get offended,” he said during his show. “I get it. I do. And for that, I feel bad. I do. But I have four reports in front of me … where there are discussions of major deficiencies in the education sector at all levels. … It wasn’t a shot at them. It was data. Five, seven years ago I talked about the same subject. Was I clunky? Perhaps. Did people not like my tone? I get it. Sometimes my tone stinks.

“I think when you host a radio show, just like Jon Stewart hosts a show, I think sometimes I bring up stuff … that makes people cringe. I’m not saying there’s not intelligent, educated people from the Dominican Republic. I cringe at the data too.”

ESPN said in a statement that Cowherd’s stance does not reflect that of the network.

“Some of Colin’s comments yesterday referencing the Dominican Republic were inappropriate and do not reflect ESPN’s values of respect for all communities,” the statement said. “Colin’s on-air response today addressed the importance of making sure his opinions are fact based and responsible for all people.”

Major League Baseball also weighed in after Cowherd made his follow-up remarks.

“Major League Baseball condemns the remarks made by Colin Cowherd, which were inappropriate, offensive and completely inconsistent with the values of our game,” MLB said in a statement. “Mr. Cowherd owes our players of Dominican origin, and Dominican people generally, an apology.”

Is Cowherd’s explanation going to be enough to make Jose Bautista change his mind? We highly doubt it.


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