Fox Sports is reporting that Atlanta pitching coach Roger McDowell issued an apology on Wednesday in response to a fan's complaint that McDowell spewed homophobic comments, made crude sexual gestures and threatened to knock out his teeth with a bat before the Braves played the San Francisco Giants over the weekend.
"I am deeply sorry that I responded to the heckling fans in San Francisco on Saturday. I apologize to everyone for my actions," McDowell said in a statement.
Justin Quinn, 33, of Fresno said that he was in the stands at AT&T Park in San Francisco during pregame batting practice with his wife and 9-year-old twin daughters when he noticed McDowell hectoring three men and asking them, "Are you guys a homo couple or a threesome?" Quinn said that McDowell proceeded to make crude sexual gestures with his hips and a bat.
Quinn, who was down in front of the field, then shouted, ''Hey, there are kids out here,'' he said during a news conference at the Los Angeles office of attorney Gloria Allred. Quinn alleged that the coach replied that kids don't belong at a baseball park, picked up a bat, walked up to Quinn and asked him, "How much are your teeth worth?"
Quinn said that he felt threatened and was unsure whether McDowell intended to hit him. "My kids are in panic mode … they're like grabbing onto me," Quinn said. "I'm talking to him, trying to calm him down and the kids are screaming." Eventually McDowell walked away. Quinn filed a complaint with Giants personnel.
Allred sent a letter Wednesday to Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig asking that he launch an investigation and take "appropriate disciplinary action." She also demanded that McDowell take sensitivity training.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation also demanded an inquiry. Selig responded, "Although I do not yet have all the facts regarding this incident, the allegations are very troubling to me." He said that he will decide how to proceed after he gets all the facts.
It sounds to us as if McDowell has more than a homophobia problem — he needs anger management. Threatening a man with a baseball bat who is with his wife and children at a baseball game is unacceptable. He's part of the coaching staff — a leader on the team — and is behaving this way? He's old enough to know better. McDowell isn't sorry that he did it; he's just sorry that he got caught. We're counting down to the fine and public service announcement.
Note to athletes — and anyone, for that matter: Spewing homophobic comments and threatening fans with weapons — i.e., a bat — under any circumstances is not acceptable.
Read more at Fox Sports.
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