Glen Kuiper, Oakland A's announcer, fired after uttering racial epithet
OAKLAND, Calif. - Glen Kuiper, a longtime broadcaster calling Oakland Athletics games, was terminated after saying a racial slur during a live broadcast earlier this month.
NBC Sports California told KTVU on Monday Kuiper was no longer employed there. He had already been suspended for his conduct.
"Following an internal review, the decision has been made for NBC Sports California to end its relationship with Glen Kuiper, effective immediately. We thank Glen for his dedication to Bay Area baseball over the years," the statement said.
During an A's broadcast for a game against the Kansas City Royals on May 5, Kuiper used the n-word when talking about visiting the Negro League Museum. Later in the game, Kuiper apologized and said the word inadvertently came out of his mouth.
"I could not be more sorry and horrified by what I said," Kuiper said. "I hope you will accept my sincerest apologies."
Anson Casaneras is a board member of Oakland 68s, a group of die-hard Oakland A’s fans from all walks of life. He says with everything else going on with the team, including the possibility of them moving to Las Vegas, Glen Kuiper’s on-air mishap, doesn’t help with morale.
"I know that he knows he made a huge, costly mistake. However, I think he’s going to be fine in the long run, but I hope that this is a very teachable moment for Glen Kuiper and everyone involved, whether you think he did make a mistake or not," Casaneras said.
San Jose State Journalism Professor Shaun Fletcher says whether you agree that Kuiper made a mistake or not, we now live in a society that is no longer tolerant of racial slurs.
"He should have an opportunity to have a career and to provide for himself and his family. But accountability doesn’t always mean that you’re going to land right back where you originally were. There has to be some accountability measures taken and this is what we’re seeing," Fletcher said.
Kuiper issued a statement on Monday where he said he rushed through the pronunciation of the word "negro", resulting in an "unfortunate mispronunciation." He said he takes full responsibility for what he said, but essentially wished his gaffe did not cost him his job.
You can read his full statement below:
Monday morning I was informed by an NBC executive that after a 20-year broadcasting career with the Oakland Athletics my contract was terminated, effective immediately. The termination was due to the unintentional use of an offensive word on the air during the May 5 pregame show.
On that day, I chose to spend my personal time by educating myself and learning more about MLB’s history by going to the Negro League Museum. I spent nearly three hours there in an effort to better understand and more deeply appreciate the difficulties and social barriers African American players endured in MLB’s early years. When the subject of the museum visit came up in the pregame show, I was excited and eager to share what I had done and seen that day. In my excitement, I rushed through the word "negro" resulting in my very unfortunate mispronunciation. I sincerely apologize to everyone who was hurt by this. It was a terrible but honest mispronunciation, and I take full responsibility.
Please know racism is in no way a part of me; it never has been and it never will be. I appreciate the Negro League Museum president Bob Kendrick and Oakland A’s great Dave Stewart’s public support of me in light of this. I am an honest, caring, kind, honorable, respectful husband and father who would never utter a disparaging word about anybody. Those who know me best know this about me.
I wish the Oakland A’s and NBC Sports would have taken into consideration my 20-year career, my solid reputation, integrity and character, but in this current environment traits like integrity and character are no longer considered. I will always have a hard time understanding how one mistake in a 20-year broadcasting career is cause for termination, but I know something better is in my future.
I love the game of baseball and I love being a broadcaster, and I love the Bay Area community. I hope I will be remembered for that.
Thank you to all my family, friends and great A’s fans that have shown their support.