Sports

Diamondbacks broadcaster Bob Brenly taking voluntary leave after comments on Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman

New York Mets right-hander Marcus Stroman recorded a quality start against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday as part of a losing effort. Afterward, Stroman took to Twitter to address racist comments made during the game by Diamondbacks announcer Bob Brenly.

Brenly’s comments came during the bottom of the fourth inning, when he said he was “pretty sure that’s the same du-rag that Tom Seaver used to wear when he pitched for the Mets.” (Stroman’s white du-rag was visible under the back of his hat.) Brenly’s broadcast partner, Steve Berthiaume, acknowledged the comment only by mentioning the Mets were wearing a No. 41 patch on their sleeves in memoriam of their longtime ace, who died last August.

Here are Brenly’s comments:

Stroman responded on his Twitter account by first suggesting that his HDHM apparel brand would soon begin selling du-rags. He then tweeted: “Onward and upward…through all adversity and racist undertones. The climb continues through all!” (Stroman also retweeted a number of others who called out Brenly for his remarks.)

Brenly issued the following statement on Wednesday:

During last night’s game, I made a poor attempt at humor that was insensitive and wrong. I apologize to Marcus Stroman and have reached out directly to share those thoughts. I have had several conversations with the D-Backs and we agree that seeking sensitivity training is an important step so that I can continue to learn from my mistakes in order to be better in the future. 

Things got worse for Brenly a day later when Aramis Ramírez noted that, during his time in Chicago, it seemed that Brenly only seemed to criticize Latino players. Via The Athletic (full story here): 

“It felt weird because every time he attacked somebody, it was a Latin player for some reason.” … “You know what’s surprising about that stuff? I never had a racial problem before in my life in the States, before Brenly or after Brenly,” Ramírez said.

In between the quotes, Ramírez provided several examples of Brenly going after him while mentioning Brenly was hard on Geovany Soto and Starlin Castro, but never any white players. 

Following the further backlash, Brenly issued another statement and announced a short leave from his post: 

“Beginning today, I have voluntarily decided to take some time off to listen, reflect and devote my attention to awareness training related to diversity and inclusion to enhance my understanding and appreciation of others,” Brenly said in a statement Thursday. “I plan to return to the booth next homestand, hopefully a better person.”

Brenly, 67, has been with the Diamondbacks broadcast team since the 2013 season. Prior to joining the Arizona broadcast, he had been a member of the Chicago Cubs television coverage. Brenly also played with three teams and won a World Series with the Diamondbacks as a manager.

David Samson broke down the comments on Thursday’s Nothing Personal with David Samson. Listen below:

Though insignificant by comparison, Stroman did record six strikeouts and hold the Diamondbacks to three runs over six innings. He was also involved in a benches-clearing spat with Josh Rojas at the end of the fifth inning. Rojas later told reporters that he was angered by Stroman making eye contact with him following an inning-ending pop-up.




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