Last season everyone was shocked when longtime play-by-play announcer Thom Brennaman was caught on a hot microphone making a homophobic slander while broadcasting a Cincinnati Reds game.
Brennaman was immediately discharged from his duties when he announced NFL games with Fox and would eventually step down from his position with the Reds after being informed that he would not be returning to the booth for the 2021 season.
Ultimately, Brennaman was blamed for his actions as there is no room for hate speech on any show. With that precedent in mind, MLB and the Arizona Diamondbacks must hold Bob Brenly responsible for the comments he made during the game last night.
For those who might have missed it, Brenly added a comment on Marcus Stroman‘s Du-Rag during the Diamondbacks broadcast of the game which said, “I’m sure this is the same Du-Rag that Tom Seaver wore when he served for the Mets. “
man … why? comes out of nowhere and is skilfully completely ignored by his partner. pic.twitter.com/q810Azt1WK
– Jomboy (@Jomboy_) June 2, 2021
While Brenly doesn’t use a racial slur as overtly as Brennaman used a homophobic, the racial undertones in what Brenly says are still evident. But unlike Brennaman, Brenly knew he was on the air and opted for that racist comment anyway.
Brenly has a history of remarks like this one too. In 2019 he commented on the necklace Fernando Tatis Jr. wore and said, “It would probably be easier to walk the bases without the bike chain around his neck.”
Both cases show that Brenly is a man unrelated to what is acceptable in 2021. Major League Baseball can’t just ignore Brenly’s comments and attribute them to being a 67-year-old from another era.
If you really want to show that you stand by People of Color and are against hate speech that has pervaded your sport for far too long, you have to hold Brenly accountable.
The way Brenly laments a du-rag or a large chain shows that he doesn’t like bringing those aspects of other cultures into the game he was playing in the 1980s.
After last night’s game, Stroman didn’t call Brenly directly, instead choosing to take the High Road when bringing up his comments.
Forward and upward … through all adversity and racial undertones. The ascent continues through everyone! 🗣
– Marcus Stroman (@ STR0) June 2, 2021
Stroman always preaches positivity on social media, but also understands that if he spoke out against Brenly, some would try to misinterpret his comments. The fact that Stroman would get a backlash if he addressed Brenly’s comment directly shows the problem that persists to this day.
If Brenly has no consequences for using this written language when addressing an African American athlete, then it’s like Major League Baseball and the Arizona Diamondbacks condone it. This is a great test for the MLB to show that they really stand by their black athletes.
Hopefully they’ll make an example of Brenly to show that this can no longer be tolerated.