Although ESPN radio’s Colin Cowherd announced last week that he would leave the sports network with good feelings all around and on a date to be announced, the good feelings melted away and the date became immediate when the network fired him after he made disparaging remarks Friday about Dominican baseball players.
Cowherd had observed on the air that he never quite understood the idea of baseball’s being a “complex sport.”
“A third of the sport is from the Dominican Republic,” he said. “The Dominican Republic has not been known in my lifetime as having world-class academic abilities. A lot of those kids come from rough backgrounds and have not had opportunities academically that other kids from other countries have.”
Dominican players took note, and took to social media to fire back.
The Toronto Blue Jays’ all-star right fielder, Jose Bautista, tweeted:
Dear Mr. @ESPN_Colin before i rip you a new one i would like for you to explain what u meant to say about baseball and dominicans, please
— Jose Bautista (@JoeyBats19) July 23, 2015
It wasn’t just players who took offense. Major League Baseball did too, and issued this statement:
“Major League Baseball condemns the remarks made by Colin Cowherd, which were inappropriate, offensive and completely inconsistent with the values of our game. Mr. Cowherd owes our players of Dominican origin, and Dominican people generally, an apology.”
Cowherd said Saturday that his dismissal was unfair because his comments were taken out of context.
“I don’t think I should be defined by 16 seconds of a minute rant edited by a site owned by a blog company currently in a $100 million lawsuit for airing improper audio and video tape,” he said.
Referring to today’s social climate, he said that political correctness was the real culprit and that “it hurts comedy more than guys like me.”
He said that comedy, if it’s good, should be “cringe-worthy,” and referred to a recent instance in which Wyatt Cenac, a black writer for comedian Jon Stewart, felt “cringed” by Stewart’s impression of 2012 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.
Cowherd also sent a tweet stating his position, and received some support:
@ESPN_Colin @mitchcarrtv lord, the over reaction and over sensitivity now days is absurd. Everyone gets offended over everything
— Jeff Cherry (@JeffACherry) July 24, 2015
@ESPN_Colin thanks for many years of entertaining radio. U R more right than wrong n will come out a winner unlike this clown @AndyPicarro
— Pooya (@NaZmEhRoViC) July 25, 2015
Here’s Cowherd’s statement Saturday, followed by the statement that got him into trouble:
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