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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Do two incidents in 12 years a 'culture of intolerance' make?

Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell, pre-homophobic outburst
  • WIKIMEDIA.ORG
  • Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell, pre-homophobic outburst
Georgia Equality is reportedly pleased with the action Major League Baseball has taken against Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell, who was fined and suspended after he acted like an a-hole at a game in San Francisco over Easter weekend. According to a family that was in the stands that day, McDowell asked a group of men whether they were a "homo couple or a threesome" and then simulated sex with a baseball bat (click here to watch a arousing horrifying reenactment compliments of celeb attorney Gloria Allred).

The LGBT rights group is less than pleased, however, with the Braves' response to the incident. In a statement issued today, they expressed concern that "there seems to be a team culture that has perpetuated this intolerance for over a decade," referring to former Brave John Rocker's 1999 racist, sexist and homophobic rant to a Sports Illustrated reporter (in which he referred to homosexuals as "queers" and proclaimed to hate all the "foreigners" in New York City).

But, do two incidents in 12 years constitute a culture of homophobia within the Braves organization? Georgia Equality believes so:

"While this event was 12 years apart from the incident with McDowell, the Braves are one of the only Major League Baseball team that has had this virulent and recurring problem. Beyond individual punishments, the Braves need to take a moment to look at themselves and consider what team culture they want to engender. What is the face they want to reflect to themselves and to their community? Where is the local action stemming from the team that started this firestorm?"

McDowell has issued an apology — but it's pretty weak:
"I am deeply sorry that I responded to the heckling fans in San Francisco on Saturday. I apologize to everyone for my actions."

H/T to GA Voice.

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