Radio host Colin Cowherd was fired by ESPN Friday, a week before he was set to leave his radio station to join Fox.
Cowherd was relieved of his duties early for the comments he made questioning the intelligence of Dominican Republic players related to baseball.
“Colin Cowherd’s comments over the past two days do not reflect the values of ESPN or our employees,” ESPN said in a statement. “Colin will no longer appear on ESPN.”
Cowherd’s comments on Thursday: “It’s baseball. You don’t think a general manager can manage? Like it’s impossible? The game is too complex? I’ve never bought into that, ‘Baseball’s just too complex.’ Really? A third of the sport is from the Dominican Republic. 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.
“Baseball is like any sport. It’s mostly instincts. A sports writer who covers baseball could go up to Tony La Russa and have a real baseball argument, and Tony would listen and it would seem reasonable. There’s not a single NFL writer in the country who could diagram a play for Bill Belichick. You know, we get caught up in this whole ‘thinking-man’s game.’ Is it in the same family? Most people could do it. It’s not being a concert pianist. It’s in the same family.”
Cowherd issued an apology later Friday via Twitter.
I did not intend to offend anyone w my comments. I realize my choice of words was poor and not reflective of who I am. I am sorry.
— Colin Cowherd (@ESPN_Colin) July 24, 2015
“Major League Baseball condemns the remarks made by Colin Cowherd, which were inappropriate, offensive and completely inconsistent with the values of our game,” it said. “Mr. Cowherd owes our players of Dominican origin, and Dominican people generally, an apology.”
From Tony Clark, executive director of the MLBPA:
“As a veteran of 15 MLB seasons, I can assure you that our sport is infinitely more complex than some in the media would have you believe,” Clark said. “To suggest otherwise is ignorant, and to make an ignorant point by denigrating the intelligence of our Dominican members was not ‘clunky’ — it was offensive.
“These recent comments are particularly disappointing when viewed against the backdrop of the important work being done to celebrate and improve the cultural diversity of our game. Baseball’s partners and stakeholders should help such efforts, not undermine them.”