According to The Athletic, NBC Sports California has fired longtime Oakland A’s play-by-play announcer Glen Kuiper after saying a racist slur on air before the A’s May 5 game in Kansas City against the Royals.
“Following an internal review, the decision has been made for NBC Sports California to end its relationship with Glen Kuiper, effective immediately,” an NBC Sports California spokesperson emailed to The Athletic on Monday. “We thank Glen for his dedication to Bay Area baseball over the years.”
Prior to the first pitch, Kuiper had referenced making some stops in the city, including going to the famed Negro Leagues Baseball Museum with color commentator and former player Dallas Braden. In doing so, he said “We had a phenomenal day today. (N-word) league museum. And Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque.” While many thought Kuiper had just mispronounced ‘Negro,’ others thought he intentionally uttered the racist epithet. In the sixth inning, Kuiper made an on-air apology.
The regional channel pulled him from the booth, rotating other announcers during Kuiper’s suspension as its management conducted an investigation.
Unfortunately, the dropping of a discriminatory slur during a sports broadcast is not an uncommon occurrence, though the utterance of one is still jarring to the viewers. The most infamous of these moments—former Cincinnati Reds play-by-play man Thom Brennaman’s use of the f-word to disparage the city of San Francisco during an Aug. 2020 telecast, also in Kansas City—has become an internet meme thanks to Brennaman’s home run call in the middle of his on-air apology.
Bob Kendrick, the president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, recently said that Kuiper had called him directly to apologize for the slur. However, in some circles, Kendrick received backlash for forgiving him and not harboring any ill will.