Bob Brenly, a former Arizona Diamondbacks major league manager turned television analyst, said today he is taking voluntary leave from his commentary duties at Bally Sports Arizona to undergo sensitivity training.
Brenly’s decision follows an on-air humor attempt on Tuesday that fell flat. He commented on the headgear of New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman, saying, “I’m sure it’s the same rag Tom Seaver wore when he pitched for the Mets.”
A do-rag (sometimes spelled du-rag) is a tight-fitting, usually stretchy piece of fabric that is worn over the head (to hold a hairstyle in place) and usually has long ends that are tied in the back, ”according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. The expression dates from 1968.
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After the game, Stroman tweeted, “Onward and up… through all adversity and racist undertones. The climb continues through everything!
Brenly responded the next day with a statement.
“I want to apologize again for my callous reference Wednesday, as this doesn’t reflect my values or who I am,” Brenly said as part of a declaration issued to Athletic. “Starting today, I have voluntarily decided to take time to listen, reflect and devote my attention to awareness training related to diversity and inclusion in order to improve my understanding and appreciation of other. I plan to go back to the booth at the next homestand, I hope for a better person.
Brenly also posted an apology via social media on Wednesday, stating “I made a bad attempt at humor that was callous and wrong.”
The Stroman incident isn’t all Brenly is trying to get over.
Former Chicago Cubs player Aramis Ramirez told The Athletic in an article published Thursday that he felt Brenly was unfair to Latin players when he was with the Cubs as a broadcaster. Ramirez said Brenly “should be sacked now”.
Brenly also responded to this accusation.
“Regarding Aramis Ramirez, Starlin castro, Geovany Soto and all the players I have followed over the years, I have the utmost respect for their life stories, talents and careers, ”Brenly said in a statement to The Athletic. “Having played the game and managed for many years, I understand how difficult it is to play so successfully for such a long time. My job for many years has been to talk about baseball and I have had thousands of opportunities to applaud and analyze performances and have had the privilege of witnessing the careers of players like Aramis Ramirez.
“My job is to describe Major League Baseball and call it what I see – the good and the bad. I have always tried to do this in an honest and impartial manner, regardless of the background or race of the player. I’m sorry my job offended Aramis as I consider him one of the most successful players of his generation.